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Archive for January, 2009

How To Get Shiny, Healthy Hair

[ 1 ] January 29, 2009

Shiny, healthy hair:  It is highly coveted by both men and women.  Those who have it show off and the ones who lost it will do almost anything to grow it back.  There are a plethora of hair products and potions on the market promising miracles.  Unfortunately, most of them do more damage than good.  In talking to several health and wellness specialists the motto seems to be ‘less is more’.

Don’t wash hair too often:

Your scalp needs time produce its own nourishing oils.  Washing daily especially with a concentrated shampoo will only exaserbate (lack of) hair problems.  You will lose the naturally-produced oils that help create rich, healthy hair and the scalp may go into overdrive producing even more oil to compensate for the loss.

Use fewer products:

We are conditioned (pun intended) to believe we need gel, mousse and hairspray to look polished.  While it will tame flyaways and other problems, people are likely using much more product than they need.  Not only does that expose your scalp and hair to more chemicals it forces you to wash more frequently.  Try to limit the number of products used and/or the amount.

Condition with coconut oil:

Coconut oil is fantastic for hair, skin and stress relief.

Coconut oil is fantastic for hair, skin and stress relief.

This is an essential part of the regimen for women in India, particularly in the south.  It seems they have found the magic potion.  Their thick, luxurious hair is highly sought-after by European and North American companies who buy their long hair and turn it into weaves and extensions.  The finished product fetches tens of thousands of dollars and is used by women all around the world, including Hollywood starlets like Paris Hilton and Beyonce.  They have the women of south India to thank for their stunning, natural hair extensions.

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment:

Don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on hair wigs and extensions?  Give coconut oil a try.  You will have to wait for the results but it may be worth it.  It is a lot cheaper too.

Beyonce has wigs and extensions from India where women use coconut oil to grow shiny, long hair.

Beyonce has wigs and extensions from India where women use coconut oil to grow shiny, long hair.

Once a week, apply a few tablespoons of warm coconut oil to your scalp (more for long hair).  For direct access to the scalp use an old hair color bottle with a pointed tip.  That will ensure the oil goes directly to the scalp.  Rub what is leftover throughout your hair.  Keep it in as long as you can, preferably overnight.  Put on a plastic shower cap and cover your pillow case with a towel.  Your scalp will thank you.  And you will sleep like a baby.  If you cannot wear it overnight, wait at least an hour before rinsing it out with a gentle shampoo and conditioner.

Eat your fruits, veggies and nuts:

I have addressed the benefits to eating well in other articles but if you need more incentive, think: shiny, healthy hair.  While it is trendy to eat low or no-fat foods it does absolutely nothing for your skin and hair.  Eat well and workout two or three times a week.  Looking good – the natural way – takes some work but the payoff is spectacular and you will set a great example for others.

Menswear: Dressing Well During A Recession

[ 1 ] January 29, 2009

The current economic malaise sure has taken a bite out of consumer confidence.  People are worried especially when, on a daily basis, they are bombarded with news about job cuts, stock market downturns and company shutdowns.  When stalwart companies like Microsoft announce layoffs, well, you know these are turbulent times.

Unfortunately, this has turned the job market into a super-competitive arena where it is not good enough to be qualified for a job: Headhunters and prospective employers judge you on everything, including personal grooming.  Is that unfair?  Perhaps, but until you are in a position where you call the shots, it is best to work within the existing parameters.

Quite a few women have been writing in, requesting advice about helping the men in their lives dress during these economic times particularly if they are job hunting.

Most of the (heterosexual) men I know do not appreciate the art of shopping, let alone wait for a sale.  When they need it, they buy it.  Simple as that.  No fooling around.  That usually entails buying at regular price and often paying too much because you did not or (could not) spend time comparing prices.  This approach is fine if money is not an issue and you have a large stash of disposable cash.  Even then, it is tough for a man to justify spending money on things he might deem frivilous.

Here are some tips on how to dress well and on a budget during a recession.

Spend Money on a Good Suit

A classic dark suit is simple yet sophisticated.

A classic dark suit is simple yet sophisticated.

A well-tailored suit is a man’s best friend.  It hides flaws, accentuates positive attributes and provides solid structure.  In North America, the single-breasted suit with two or three buttons down the front is most common and quite flattering.  For the pants, only choose cuffs if you are tall since it will shorten the look of your leg.  Unless you have the budget to buy more than one suit purchase a conservative (read: not trendy) one that will not go out of style next year.

Your first stop should be at a store that specializes in men’s clothing.  In Canada, it would be Harry Rosen or Holt Renfrew’s men’s department.  Yes, their clothing can be expensive but you can get great advice even if you do not buy anything (and feel no obligation to do so).  Too often, men wear suits that are too big or the fabric is of poor quality.  Let a qualified salesperson guide you in the right direction.  They may even tell you about an upcoming sale.  While it would be nice to get a good suit on sale, do not count on it.  Expect to pay a bit more for a well-made suit.

Get Crisp, White Dress Shirts

A fitted shirt is a great choice for a slim build.

A fitted shirt is a great choice for a slim build.

A crisp, white dress shirt says you are solid, dependable and conservative – attributes you want to advertise during tough economic times.  As with the suit, men often wear shirts that are too big for their build.  Slim men should avoid shirts with pleats.  They do not need the extra fabric especially under a fitted suit.  Choose a collar that flatters the shape of your face:  A spread collar will enhance a long, slender face while a pointed collar will elongate a wide (cherubic!) face.  Keep the cuff links in your drawer for now as they may seem rather pretentious and gauche.

Smooth Silk Ties

This is where you can have fun and show some personality.  You can score a deal too which is great since you should have at least ten good ties in your closet to get you through the week and tide you over while some are at the cleaners.

If the suit and shirt are conservative, show some personality with your tie.

If the suit and shirt are conservative, show some personality with your tie.

In Toronto, a good place for deals on well-made silk ties is Holt Renfrew Last Call.  The merchandise will be from a previous season but that should not deter you.  Only a true fashion expert would notice and even then, who cares.  You really cannot go wrong here especially if the suit and dress shirt are fairly conservative.  As you gain knowledge and expertise in the art of dressing you will be able to play with shirt patterns and colors too, but for now, play it safe.

Matching Socks, Please

Whether they match your pants or shoes, just make sure they color-coordinate with something!  This may seem like a minor point but it will not go unnoticed by the person sitting across from you, particularly if it is a woman.  While you will not earn points for matching, you will lose in a big way if an effort is not made here.  Big no-no’s:  White or no socks.


Instead of dark loafers, wear tan-colored shoes with an olive or brown suit.

Instead of dark loafers, wear tan-colored shoes with an olive or brown suit.

Unlike women, men seem to think the fewer pairs, the better.  You may not need a closet full of shoes but you should have more than one pair.  Oxford shoes are popular – for good reason.  They can be worn practically all year and flatter most suit styles.  Just remember if you wear slim, fitted pants the shoes should also be light and sleek.  Save the bulkier shoes for baggier pants.  If you are investing in a good pair of shoes you should also get a reputable cobbler to stitch rubber soles onto the sole.  It will preserve them.

If you have some cash to spare (money you saved buying ties on sale!) add a pair of light brown or tan-colored leather shoes to your wardrobe.  Shown right, these shoes are enormously flattering with an olive or brown suit.  The look is sophisticated, sharp and will definitely set you apart from the rest.

Happy shopping and good luck scoring the job of your dreams.

The Perfect Nude Lipstick: Shades For Every Skin Tone

[ 0 ] January 28, 2009

The perfect nude lipstick is a subtle yet super-sexy way to draw attention to your pout.  It is also great for the office since it is low maintenance.  Unless you work at a cosmetic counter go easy on the gloss during the day – a matte lipstick with perhaps a touch of shine will impart a polished, professional look.  If matte lipstick is too drying, use lip balm underneath.  It will moisturize without the shine.

In the evening though, feel free to lacquer those lips with a complimentary nude gloss.  This will give the illusion of more full, luscious and seductive lips.

Angelina Jolie perfects the nude lippie with smokey eye makeup.

Angelina Jolie perfects the nude lippie with smokey eye makeup.

This is the trademark look for the current queen of Hollywood, Angelina Jolie.  She uses Laura Mercier’s lip creme in Discretion.  If your lips are not as full as hers, try using a “plumping” gloss like Two-Faced Lip Injection – don’t let the name scare you!

To make this look seem effortless, well, you do have to make some effort!  If the lips are soft and sexy choose a bold and beautiful palette for the eyes.  A smokey eye is brilliant with nude lipstick, especially black eyeliner with dark gray/blue/brown eyeshadows.  A light brush of shimmer on top is a nice finishing touch.  If that is too bold for you then at least make liberal use of dark eyeliner and mascara, otherwise you can appear washed out or pale.  A light dusting of neutral blush and face powder will complete this look.

It may take some trial and error to find the perfect nude lipstick.  Ideally, you want one that is very close to your natural lips yet enhances them ever so slightly.  A touch of pink is excellent for blonds while olive or golden-toned women should try mauve or peach tones.  The latter option works well for darker skin tones too, along with rich browns.

It can be quite difficult to pick the right color from a test swatch or a picture on the internet.   You really won’t know until you try it on, ideally with your eye makeup in place.  If you have the time, go to your favorite cosmetic counter/store and ask the sales clerk for assistance.  They should be able to narrow down the choices for you.  If you really want to be smart about it have the clerk do your eyes as well (or do it before you get there).  This may seem like a lot of wasted time and effort but it is easier and quicker to do the legwork beforehand rather than take home a product/shade which is not only unsuitable but you now must suffer the inconvenience of returning/exchanging it.  Plus, it’s always nice to have someone fuss over you for a bit, no?

I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot of money on a nude lipstick but if you prefer a certain brand and it happens to be expensive (Cle de Peau, anyone?) then check with your favorite brand first.

Below, I have listed some pricey and inexpensive lipstick options to help you achieve this sexy look.  Beware:  This will draw sexy attention – make sure you’re ready for it…

Have fun – and please let me know how this works for you!!

Alabaster, Porcelain skin tone:

Pricey:  Laura Mercier-Discretion or Vincent Longo Lipstain SPF15-Nude
Inexpensive:  Clinique Long Last Soft Shine-Twilight Nude or Maybelline Moisture Whip-Nude Blush

Olive, Golden, Honey skin tone:

Pricey:  Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal-Tiramisu (very sheer) or NARS-Blonde Venus
Inexpensive:  Revlon Super Lustrous-Fleshtone #230 or Clinique Long Last Soft Shine-Blushing Nude

Espresso, Chestnut skin tone:

Pricey: Bobbi Brown-Cocoa, Rich Cocoa, Putty or Chocolate

Inexpensive: Clinique Different-Tenderheart or MAC-Plastique or Jubilee

Bronzer Tips: How To Become a Golden Goddess

[ 0 ] January 22, 2009

There is no denying it – the golden goddess look is hot and especially sought-after during these frigid, cold months.  But what if you cannot escape the colder climes and head for the tropics?  Well, bring out the bronzer.  It works for celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez.

The J-Lo Glow (Photorazzi: Janet Mayer)

The J-Lo Glow (Photorazzi: Janet Mayer)

They have gone to great lengths to get the sun-kissed look – and it has paid off for them, in the millions.  A great bronzer – powder or liquid – is a safe and easy way to achieve a tanned complexion.  A naturally golden beauty like Halle Berry would not need all the products used by Jennifer Lopez but she would add some color, preferably peach or apricot-toned, to add dimension and depth to her skin tone.

Quick & Easy Bronzer Tips:

For normal to dry skin:

Create your palette.  Use an old mirror (or another smooth, flat surface) and mix together a few drops of bronzing liquid with your liquid foundation or moisturizer.  Lightly dip your foundation brush into this mixture and sweep it gently across your cheekbones, forehead and temples.  Be conservative with the bronzing liquid while you figure out the right amount – you want to look sun-kissed, not burned!  Clinique has a great shimmer liquid that comes in a variety of shades – reasonably priced too.

For oily, sensitive skin:

The fewer face products you use, the better.  Try your luck with the bronzing liquid process indicated above, but keep in mind it will impart a dewy look.  Chances are, if you have oily skin, a shinier look is not what you want.  Also, adding (another) liquid product to your routine greatly increases the risk of a negative skin reaction.

How about a light sweep of bronzing/shimmer powder across your cheeks, temples and forehead?  You’ll achieve the bronzing effect minus the shiner face and possible irritation.  Bobbi Brown makes wonderful Shimmer Bricks.  They are pricey but seem to last forever.  I’ll look out for inexpensive options.

Quick tips:

A little goes a long way:  Start with a light application and build from there.

Bronzing brush:  It helps distribute the product evenly.  Sephora has a great line of brushes.  A great inexpensive option is Sonia Kashuk (available at Target in the U.S.).

Don’t go too dark:  Choose a shade that is one or (max.) two shades darker than your skin tone.

Bronzer needs blush:  A light sweep of coral, apricot or pink blush will help highlight the bronzer.  Go easy on foundation though – you do not want to look too made-up.

All skin tones benefit from bronzer, but use it sparingly if you’re naturally tanned and add a warm, peachy blush.  It will highlight your beautiful skin tone.

Just leave the straw hat at home!

Makeup Remover Recall: Another Reason to Keep it Simple

[ 0 ] January 22, 2009

Next time you stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel, you may wish to steer clear of the hotel’s moist towellete labelled “”.  The company that makes this product, Celeste Industries, says it has voluntarily recalled this product from hotels in Canada and the U.S. after some towelettes tested positive for a bacteria that causes eye and respiratory infections as well as dermatitis and a host of other infections.  Because this makeup remover is intended for the eyelid there is a strong possibility that a tainted product could cause a serious infection.

At the risk of seeming preachy, this is yet another reason for adopting a more natural approach to skin care such as using olive oil on a cotton pad to remove makeup.  If the oily residue left behind is bothersome, simply use a mild cleanser afterward.

The company says no illnesses have been reported as a result of these findings.  The moist towelletes are not sold directly to the public.

Michelle Obama: Perfection in Winter White

[ 0 ] January 21, 2009

Michelle Obama seemed ethereal on the night of the inauguration:  A modern-day princess who dazzled her people and Prince Charming/President.

Obamas attend Homes States Ball, Jan. 20, 2009 (Photo: Huffington Post).

Obamas attend Home States Ball, Jan. 20, 2009 (Photo: Huffington Post).

The First Lady proved winter white is remarkable when designed properly (read: doesn’t look like a wedding dress).  She also demonstrated, once again, that she is a stylish force to be reckoned with, further whetting the appetite of the American fashion industry.

Obama made a terrific turn from the elegant but subdued daytime ensemble worn during the swearing-in ceremony and parade.  In what has become her trademark, she looked beyond established Fifth Avenue designers choosing a full-length, empire waist gown made by Taiwan-born, Manhattan-based designer Jason Wu.  The 26-year-old is highly regarded by the fashionable set.  Obama’s choice will likely catapult him into fashion stardom, much like Narciso Rodriguez (Wu’s former boss) after he designed the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress.  Yet another link to the legendary Kennedy clan.

The Jason Wu-designed gown shows off Michelle Obama's toned arms (AP Photo/Pablo Monsavais)

The Jason Wu-designed gown shows off Michelle Obama's toned arms (AP Photo)

The expectations were quite high for the First Lady.  She had to deliver glamor without appearing ostentatious in light of the current economic malaise affecting Americans and people around the world.  Obama.  Delivered.  Perfectly.  The one-shoulder Grecian-inspired gown showed off her toned arms (seems those early morning workouts paid off).  The cream color was an interesting, albeit surprising choice given her preference for jewel tones.  The desire to surprise is something she shares with her husband.  Earlier in the day, the couple unexpectedly jumped out of their Cadillac limousine (aka The Beast) during the Inauguration Parade to greet the crowds on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Michelle Obama's hottest accessory - after the President, of course (AP Photo).

Michelle Obama's showstopping cocktail ring (AP Photo).

As for the jewelry, Obama made exquisite choices which further accentuated the ethereal look of her soft, flowing gown.  She wore a showstopping, oversized cocktail ring on her right hand.  The ring was so large she had to remove her wedding ring.  Nice problem to have…

Michelle Obama's Indian-inspired bangles (Getty Images Photo)

The ethereal look is complete with a cluster of Indian-inspired bangles (Getty Images).

Her look was complete with beautiful diamond drop earrings and Indian-inspired fine bangles, likely made of white gold.

For a woman who maintains she has no intention of becoming a fashion icon, Michelle Obama is proving to be quite the tease for trendsetters and followers.

Jill Biden: The Other White House Hottie

[ 1 ] January 20, 2009
Joe & Jill Biden at the Neighborhood Ball, Jan.20, 2009 (AP Photo)

Joe & Jill Biden at the Neighborhood Ball, Jan.20, 2009 (AP Photo)

While all eyes were on First Lady Michelle Obama during the inauguration ceremony, Jill Biden dressed-to-impress too.  She made it clear she is not playing second fiddle when it comes to style.  The Second Lady was absolutely radiant all day and night.  She made a brilliant choice for the evening with a poppy-red strapless chiffon evening gown designed by Reem Acra, a Hollywood favorite.  Biden clearly understands that red is a stand-out color for her.  It compliments her vibrant, high-spirited personality.  This woman is clearly comfortable in her own skin, unencumbered by her age or status.  At 57-years-old, Biden still maintains a youthful vivaciousness and dresses in a manner that belies her age without crossing the line.

Jill Biden’s choice for the daytime inauguration ceremony was wonderful too.  She wore a bright red coat (and knee-high black boots) helping her stand out amongst the ubiquitous black coats sweeping across Capitol Hill.  Her bold, yet elegant and age-appropriate fashion choices sent a strong message to the fashion world, who will no doubt pay more attention to her.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden arrive for the Inauguration ceremony, Jan.20, 2009

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden arrive for the inauguration ceremony, Jan.20, 2009 (AP photo).

I would give an honorable mention to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  She was elegance personified in a mauve ensemble accessorized with a string of large, pink and purple-hued Tahitian pearls.

This was truly an historic moment in world history.  As far as fashionistas are concerned these ladies rose to the occasion.  The White House now boasts a bevy of smart, attractive women who can play the part of muse for the fashion industry.  Michelle Obama made a subdued, elegant choice with her sunny yellow coat and dress, designed by Cuban-American Isabel Toledo.  I must admit, I expected more glamour from the First Lady who made a rather conservative choice, perhaps due to the current economic crisis?  Daughters Sasha and Malia were stunning and adorable (an interesting combination) in their bright J. Crew coats.

Michelle Obama: Inauguration Dress Ideas

[ 0 ] January 18, 2009
The store that carried this dress reported a sharp spike in sales after Obama wore it on a television talk show.

The store that carried this dress reported a sharp spike in sales after Obama wore it on a television talk show.

Not since the original fashionista, Jackie Kennedy, have people looked to the White House for style inspiration.  And inspire she does.  While Michelle Obama has stated repeatedly that fashion is not her primary focus, she has quickly become the industry’s top muse, a sacred pedestal usually reserved for high-profile starlets and supermodels.  It is no wonder, since the woman wears clothes exceptionally well thanks to her tall, svelte figure – big booty notwithstanding!  Like Obama, the fashion industry is walking tall as she gives American designers a much-needed profile boost.

Designers are hovering around the soon-to-be First Lady, anxious to dress her for Inauguration night.  Will she choose haute couture or ready-to-wear?  Given the current (dismal) state of the economy, she will likely opt for the latter or find a clever middle ground – perhaps a cost-conscious label that whips up a First Lady special?  She has already demonstrated a penchant for up-and-coming designers like Thakoon and off-the rack items such as the $148.00 dress, shown right, by Donna Ricco.

Women’s Wear Daily is also having fun with this, asking dozens of designers to sketch what they envision the First Lady wearing on Inauguration night.  Most of Obama’s favorite designers, including Thakoon, have declined WWD’s request likely because they are top contenders who need to keep their ideas under wraps (no pun intended).

A svelte suggestion by Carolina Herrera

A svelte suggestion by Carolina Herrera

A red-hot idea from Monique Lhuillier

A red-hot idea from Monique Lhuillier

While Obama is expected to wear American on Inauguration night (as she should) she may very well embrace international design too, especially when accompanying the President on foreign missions.

A casual chic outfit from Pink Tartan - perfect for a meeting with our PM's wife - without the headscarf!

A casual chic outfit from Pink Tartan's S/S 2009 collection.

Carla Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a diplomatic choice during her first state visit to the UK, wearing outfits from French design house Christian Dior – their head designer, John Galliano is British.

When Michelle Obama accompanies the President on his first official visit to Canada, I would like to see her dressed by a young, innovative Canadian label such as Pink Tartan.  Its designs may be described as preppy chic with an elegant, sophisticated twist, tailor-made for the First Lady.  The outfit shown to the right would be perfect for a one-on-one meeting with our Prime Minister’s wife (without the headscarf, of course).

Michelle Obama is in the enviable position of choosing from a vast array of Inauguration dress ideas.  She can pretty much wear anything and pull it off with grace, elegance and her own brand of sophistication.  Whatever she decides, it is sure to represent the epitome of classic American chic.

Radiant Skin: 3 Quick and Easy Steps to Beautiful, Glowing Skin

[ 0 ] January 15, 2009

For centuries, women have obsessed about radiant skin – and how to get it. Cleopatra bathed in milk to get the benefits of lactic acid exfoliation while modern-day princesses use everything from fish oil and fruit acid peels to crushed Aspirin masks, all in an effort to get that youthful glow. We’ve been tricked into believing that the more we spend on products and procedures, the younger we’ll look. The truth is, the more we do, the more damage we incur. With a plethora of products on the market promising miracles, it can be confusing and quite tantalizing but, after talking to several dermatologists and other medical experts the answer seems to be: keep it simple. Also, you must work from the inside out. Using top-notch creams while starving your body – or eating junk food – will only make your wallet thinner. I did state this would be quick and easy, so here goes:

Eat Healthy Fats, Fruits & Vegetables:

Instead of reaching for a jar of beauty cream, grab a jar full of nuts – almonds and walnuts to be precise. They are full of healthy fats and also pack a powerful protein punch.

Next, load up on fresh fruits and colourful vegetables – they are loaded with antioxidants. Added bonus? Eating just a few different fruits together (ie. an apple, orange and banana) increases the total antioxidant effect in a synergistic manner. More simply, you get more nutritional value by eating your fruits together rather than individually. Buy organic whenever possible, especially apples, peaches and strawberries which are usually high in pesticides.

Take a Triphala Tonic at Bedtime:

This herbal body cleanser is a mainstay in Ayurveda (a wholistic system of medicine from India). If anything deserves to be called a miracle product, this is it. Triphala literally means ‘three fruits’. It combines, in equal measure, the fruits Harada, Amla and Bihara. The benefits are tremendous: 1-2 teaspoons mixed with a cup of water helps detoxify your liver and colon while reducing high blood pressure. If that’s not enough, this herbal laxative also has a strong nutritional value including high levels of stabilized vitamin C. So, it helps rid your body of toxins (hello clear skin!) while giving your body a potent vitamin boost (hello radiant skin!). It’s inexpensive and available at Indian grocery stores.

**Take this right before retiring for the night or during the day if you plan to stay home!!

Say No to Parabens and Irritating Ingredients:

Cosmetic companies are exceptionally skilled at luring vulnerable women with their claims of miracle ingredients and patented potions. Unfortunately, many of these products do more harm than good. Note: A moisturizer with a long ingredient listing significantly raises the risk of skin irritation. In theory, a cream loaded with vitamins and minerals is great for the skin, but this is not the case for many women. Keep your skin care routine as simple and natural as possible.

I stumbled across a great product which is working for me thus far – olive oil! Yes, my favourite kitchen ingredient is now my makeup remover/cleanser and moisturizer. It makes my skin glow, when used sparingly. I also use an exfoliating cream 2-3 times per week to ensure skin cell regeneration. So far, so good.

Turmeric Benefits: A Golden Warrior in the Anti-Aging Crusade

[ 2 ] January 14, 2009

Benefits of Turmeric

This vibrant, bright yellow spice is a staple in Indian cuisine.  Turmeric benefits are numerous due to its high concentration of curcumin, a chemical that helps our defence mechanisms battle free radicals which cause cell damage and accelerate the aging process.

Many studies have proven the health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.  It’s believed to aid people suffering from Crohn’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Note:  There is a very low incidence of Alzheimer’s in India where turmeric is consumed regularly.

Psoriasis sufferers can also reap health benefits from this spice which acts as an anti-inflammatory and is proven to be as effective, if not more than cortisone treatment.  Best of all, it is inexpensive and widely available in Indian and bulk food stores.  If possible, stay away from the bottled spices in big supermarkets.  Who knows how long the spices have been sitting there.  Look for a store that has high product turnover.

Turmeric spice is also used in Hindu wedding ceremonies where the bride and/or groom are covered with turmeric paste to help give their skin a vitamin boost and golden glow on their special day.  However, you do not have to be a new bride to benefit from this powerful antioxidant.  Add it to a homemade facial mask to help keep your skin clear and free of infections like acne and rosacea.

Quick & Easy Turmeric Facial Mask

Combine 2 tsp chickpea/gram flour with ¼ tsp ground turmeric.
Add enough milk and honey to make a paste.
Apply to clean skin, avoiding eye area.
After 10 minutes, wash face with lukewarm water.

Turmeric Recipes:

Add at least 1 teaspoon to:
1)  Your favourite Indian curry, vegetable or meat dish.
2)  Pasta sauce (bottled or homemade).

Add a pinch (or two) to:
1)  Devilled food eggs
2)  Potato salad

As you can see, it is super-easy to incorporate this powerful antioxidant into your daily routine.  The benefits of turmeric are wonderful – give it a try!

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