Wednesday, April 29, 2020

History of Franchising

Cheeseburger, Drink, Fries, Food, Menu
 Many people have the dream of owning their own business.  Sometimes this means opening a small shop selling things they've made or a specific type of body lotion, or a business to meet the needs of others such as a cleaning service or restaurant.  One of the easier ways is to invest in a franchise with an already established chain.

A franchise is where someone has set up the business, figured out how to run it properly, while establishing the brand and routines.  People can then invest in opening a location by buying a "franchise". They get the brand, the products, and the whole system associated with the brand.  In addition, the person who invests in the chain is expected to pay a royalty to the parent company.

The whole idea of franchising has been around since the Middle Ages when feudal lords sold the right to others to collect taxes on their behalf so all those tax collectors you see in Robin Hood movies had paid for the right to collect all taxes.  This is one of the first examples of a political franchise.

As far as a business franchise, this began in Germany in the 1800's when brewers sold the right to tavern owner to carry their brand exclusively.  In the United States, one of the first franchises was established by Isaac Singer, the man who created the Singer sewing machine.  He sold the rights to traveling salesmen to sell his product to people as they traveled across the land.  He did this by charging an upfront fee, then gave the salesman a certain territory to sell in.  After he sold a sewing machine, the sales person was required to teach the woman how to use it because it was part of the dal.

The next product to be franchised was Coca-Cola's product in the 1890's.  They sold the right to produce and distribute this drink in specific territories to independent bottlers who understood they assumed all risks.  In other words, if the product did not sell, the distributor would loose money, not the company but if it did well, they'd make money.

On the other hand, when Ford began producing his cars, his company had no way to sell the vehicles so he and General Motors began selling the right to independent dealers to sell their cars to the public.  It wasn't long before oil companies offered repair stations the right to use their name and trademark.  In addition, food places began franchising.  A & W Root beer is one of the earliest recorded cases in 1924.

Howard Johnson began franchising their restaurants in 1935 and three years later, Arthur Murray began franchising his dance studios.  By the 1950's and 60's franchising took off and many of our modern chains took off such as McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, and so many others.  You might wonder what caused franchising to take off during this time period.

Well there are two things that contributed to this.  First, television expanded and more people began to watch shows paid for with advertisements.  Second, the highway system developed, covering the United States from one coast to the other coast.  The United States Government began to get involved in the 1970's when unscrupulous operators sold franchises to people, took their money, before going out of business.  They established laws to cover this type of business so it is much safer now.

I hope you enjoyed this short history.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, April 27, 2020

History of Beauty Parlors

Beauty Salon, Hair Dresser, TableMany women are missing their regular trips to the hair salon.  They are not allowed to go because the places have closed down by order of the government but in some states they are lifting restrictions so women can once again venture out to have their hair done.

Beauty Parlors have been around for as long as I can remember.  They have actually been around for over 100 years.  Before beauty parlors and hair salons were around, women either did their own hair or they had maids who fixed it.

Barbershops could be found all over the place but at the end of the 1800's, beauty parlors began popping up all over the world but they had to use advertising to convince women to leave their houses and maids to these businesses to have their hair done.

Around 1890, Martha Matilda Harper opened one of the first public beauty parlors.  She named it the "The Harper Hair Parlor" also known as the "Harper Method Shop".  Martha Harper came from a poor family.  She entered the workforce by the age of 7 as a servant and one of her employers, a physician, taught her about hair and its health which lead her to develop her own hair tonic.

Eventually, she save enough of her wages to open her own shop.  She invented the first reclining salon chair (she never patented it) and she was one of the first to convince women to come to her shop rather than going to her clients house.

Being a beautician was one of the early skilled occupations open to women and opened up opportunities for women to become entrepreneurs. So she went a step further by starting a school to train girls she then hired to work in her salon. In addition, she also allowed women to start their own Harper Method Shop and at one point there were 500 such shops around the country.  Around the same time, several African American women worked on developing products specifically for their hair while opening their own hair salons and beginning their own businesses.

Between 1900 and 1920, the field saw the development of bobby pins, hair dryers, permanents, and hair coloring which opened up the demand for these establishments.  By the end of the 1920's over 25,000 hair salons opened in the United States alone.  This was the age where women stepped out of their traditional rolls, wanted their hair cut short and to wear short dresses.  Many beauty parlors refused to cut a woman's hair into a bob so women went to barbershops.

By the 1940's beauty parlors now used hair spray, hair relaxers, and other styling products.  It was during this time that more women joined the work force so men were freed up to fight. Thus women began going to beauty parlors to enjoy being pampered.  Furthermore, styles became more complicated towards the end of the 1940's so the beauty parlors helped women enjoy those styles.

In addition, military bases began opening beauty parlors to increase the moral of their female employees.  Through the 1950's and into the 1960's beauticians were the only ones who had access to certain specialized beauty products and were trained in providing coloring, perms, etc.  In addition, beauty parlors underwent a change to become known as hair salons because men started using them.

Eventually, department stores, cruise ships, retirement homes, began opening hair salons to meet the demands of their clients.  Now you can find hair salons in your local stores so you set an appointment via your computer so you can shop and get her hair done with one stop.  I pop in to get a trim and to deep condition my hair.  That will be one of my big things I hope to do when I get back to town this summer.  I hope they will be open but only time will tell.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

From Runway to Department Store

Stage, Performance, Public Show, MusicWe’ve all seen runway shows at some point in our lives.  My experience is by having watched a couple of news clips on one or two runway shows or via project runway.  I’ve never actually been to a show but from what I can tell, the runway is for a designer to show all his ideas, shares his dreams.

There are two types of fashion shows, the first is the over the top high society type shows and the second is the ready to wear shows with fashion designed more for the population.  The higher end fashion shows often have the wilder crazier, over the top designs which when made for the store, often sell for a lot more.

Many times the designs are extreme and over the top.  There are folks out there who would consider wearing it but for many, they are a bit too much.  Most designers have an accessible version that is not quite as extreme but for those of us who have limited budgets, we still can’t afford those. 

The ready to wear shows are filled with designer ideas for the mass market. Most of the outfits that appear are closer to what we see later but by the time the design has hit the department stores, it is undergone change.

Let’s start with the runway show itself.  The uninformed audience sees outfit after outfit coming down the runway but the show is more than just for showing a designer’s creations.  It is actually a trade show where editors, buyers, and other insiders determine the upcoming trends, and what will end up in stores for the consumers.  The outfits on the runway are what catches the eyes of those who decide what will be offered the following season.

Most of the beginning work is done at private showings where editors, buyers, etc go to private designer shows to make purchases, decide how to change things to market either in a boutique or for ready to wear.  Some the the things buyers change for the ready to wear market include making changes to fit the average person.  Most outfits are designed to be worn by a model is is much taller and thinner so adjustments must be made.

The design might increase measurements around the bust, the waist, the hips, while shortening the inseam, shorten both sleeves and the length of the torso, and shorten heels on shoes.  Although they try to stay true to the original design, they often have to make changes based on the requirements of the store representatives.

The changes requested retailers might include taking off some of the embellishment to make it more practical, or use a different material to make it more affordable, change the neckline or hem length.  Although changes are made, they work to keep the feel of the garment the same.  The original provides the desire to own the outfit while the off the rack outfit is to own.

So now you know how things go from the runway to the store.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

History of Fashion Week

Catwalk, Models, Women, FashionFashion week is one of the events in the fashion world where designers get to show their work to everyone.  It is something I remember hearing about since I was a teenager but I wonder how long it has actually been around.

The idea of fashion week actually began in Paris during the 1800's when the fashion salons hosted private showings for those who could afford these fashions.

This continued until the early 1900's when Ehrich Brothers department store in New York City hosted the first fashion show in the United States.  Many other stores followed their lead and began hosting shows of their own.

At this point, Paris was still considered the center of fashion to the point that American companies paid people to make copies of the most current fashion so they could create knockoffs for their clients.  When World War II broke out and Germans invaded Paris, the fashion houses continued producing fashion for the Germans.

This gave the United States a chance to take the lead on creating fashion.  In 1943 Elenor Lambert, a fashion influencer of the time, took all the individual fashion shows and clustered them to cover one week.  Thus all these designers had a chance to show their work all in one place in New York City.  She called it the "Fashion Press Week" or just the "Press Week."  It was a way to showcase American fashion at a time when Paris was occupied.

They organized the fashion weeks to showcase seasonal designs so there were four each year.  These shows continued during the same time of year but the location kept changing until 1993 where they stayed but the show was named after the company who put it on.  Eventually the show became the "New York Fashion Week" in the 2000's.

Shortly after the war ended in 1945, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture mandated that ll couture houses needed to produce 35 day and evening outfits seasonally.  Part of this had to do with New York becoming the center of fashion during the war and Paris wanted to show people they still had it.  In 1947, Dior with his new look took the focus on French Fashion back.

However, the Paris Fashion Week as we know it today didn't start until 1973 when the show pitted 5 top French designers against 5 Americans in a show to raise monies to help restore Versailles.  It was quite successful and the audience seemed to prefer American Fashion.

Another country that moved into the fashion ring was Italy.  Italy had mostly produced locally purchased fashion but at the end of World War II, they moved towards being internationally recognized.  Various cities such as Rome and Florence produced their version of fashion but it was Milan in 1958 that they started taking the lead under the National Chamber of Italian Fashion.

In 1961, Vogue Italia opened its doors and over the years Armani and Versace opened their doors and added to the fashion shows held during fashion week.  The thing is that some of the Italian Fashion houses have independent shows rather than participating in Fashion Week.

The last international fashion week began in London in 1984.  It was organized by the British Fashion Council as a week long event.  The first show ended up being held in a parking lot but eventually moved to the Ritz. In addition, shows are held every February and September  every year.   The London Fashion week has seen it's share of ups and downs over time but it is still seen as one of the big four.

For all four fashion weeks, they have the runway version of the fashions which make their appearance often as a more accessible form and for those of us who do not have the money, we end up wearing the off the rack ready to wear version.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  have a great day.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The History of Hair Brushes

Hairbrush, Hair, Comb, Brush, HairdryerWhen I was young, my grandmother always told me I needed to do two things in order to have nice hair.  First, I needed to use 100 strokes to brush my hair every night and second, I needed to use a natural bristle brush.

I tried using the natural bristle brush but I could never seem to get all the knots out and it didn't seem to do much else than slide along the outside .  I think those might have been the only type of hair brushes available when my grandmother was growing up.

Hair brushes have been around for a while but originally, only the wealthy could afford them because they were handcrafted.  In addition, they were used as styling tools, not grooming during the early years.  Most of the early brushes had hand carved handles with each bristle hand sewn to the backing.  Consequently, brushes were often given for special occasions and cherished for life.

The first hairbrush company was founded in 1777 by William Kent in Hertfordshire, England.  The Kent Brush company is thought to be the first hair brush manufacturing company.  They made their brushes out of wood with bristles made out of animal hair or feathers.  It took up to 12 people to create each brush and the company is still in operation.

At this time in history, women did not shampoo their hair.  Instead, they'd rub a fat based substance into their hair, then they'd dust a powder made of ground up bone to absorb the oil much like today's dry shampoos, before vigorously brushing the fat and dust out of their hair while ensuring the oil reached the ends of their hair.

At this time in history, women did not shampoo their hair.  Instead, they'd rub a fat based substance into their hair, then they'd dust a powder made of ground up bone to absorb the oil much like today's dry shampoos, before vigorously brushing the fat and dust out of their hair while ensuring the oil reached the ends of their hair.

At least two people in the United States patented hairbrushes.  The first in 1854 is the earliest patent found for a metal handle with scalloped edges.  This type of hairbrush was popular in sets with combs, brushes, and mirrors for newly married females or babies.  The next was approved in 1870.  This brush had both metal bristles combined with natural bristles.

It wasn't until 1885 that someone invented and patented an automatic boring brush machine.  This machine produced hairbrushes much faster than before making them more affordable..  At about the same time, Mason Pearson created the "rubber cushioned" brush.  He was able to perfect his brush in the 1920's and it is still in use today.

The hairbrush as we know it today, came about when Lyda Newman, an African American, developed a brush with synthetic bristles, a ventilation chamber, and a place to collect debris from the hair.  At about the same time, Alfred Fuller helped spread it by founding the Fuller Brush company, improving on the basic brush, and selling the product door to door.

The circular hair brush most often used with blow driers came about in 1965 by a Frenchman who wanted to move away from rollers to a more windblown look.  Now, most brushes are made out of plastic with synthetic bristles and can be found in all sizes and shapes.  You can find a hairbrush for every type of hair and every length.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cream Or Powder Eye Shadow

Makeup Brush, Make Up, Brush, Cosmetics The other day, I realized my current stash of eye shadow is probably older than some of my friends kids.  This means it is probably a bit too old to use safely so it is time for me to get some new but which is better - creme or powder?  I usually go for powder because it's always what I've used but I wondered if creme was better.

Each type has it's advantages and disadvantages.  Creme eye shadow is best used when you need a simpler, uncomplicated look.

They have good sticking power so they are more long lasting on their own.  They do not layer as well but are great for touchups.  In addition, creme eye shadow can double as primer or a base for shadow in certain circumstances.  For those who are not familiar, primers are put on the eye lid first to smooth  it out and offer a blank canvas to create your final look.

Lastly creme eye shadow can be used on its own to create certain looks.  The creme eye shadow can be smoothed over the lid, around under the eye, smudged, or easily blended.  It comes in fewer colors than powder and cannot be used over powder eye shadow.

Powder eye shadow can be found in two forms, pressed and loose.  Pressed eye shadow is one of the easiest to use and it layers well.  It is also quite versatile.  If used with a primer, pressed eye shadow can be used to create a wide variety of looks.  I

On the other hand, loose powdered eye shadow often have minerals in them, are highly pigmented, and provide rich hues of color.  If you apply loose powdered eye shadow with a damp brush, it stays much longer.  Unfortunately, it can be more difficult to apply, especially for beginners.

The great thing about powdered eye shadow is that it can be used on the brows and comes in a wider selection of colors than cremes.  Furthermore, it can be used as both eye liner or blush. It has been suggested one use creme eye shadow as a base, topped with the powdered eye shadow to add depth and help the color last longer.

You might even find powdered eye shadow in stick form but most of us stick to the traditional trays or pots.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The 8 Most Expensive Hats in the World

Baby, Boy, Hat, Covered, Eyes, Child Most of us own at least one hat.  It might be a baseball cap, or something with a wide brim to wear on the beach but most of us do not spend $100,000 or more for a hat.  There are hats out there valued at around ten million.  Imagine $10,000,000!

These are not the hats you'll pick up at the local Target, or Walmart. They are not the ones, you throw in your luggage to be squashed. These are different.  So now, let's look at the hats that make this list.

1.  The Pope's tiara worth $10,000,000. It was worn by the pope until it was retired by Pope John Paul I.  This tiara is made up of three crowns assembled over time.  There are three rationals to explain the three crowns, First is that the tiara represents the pope's universal office, jurisdiction over the whole church, and his power. The second is that it represents the church on earth, in purgatory, and in heaven. The third focuses on the pope being a vicar of Christ and shares his office of priest, prophet, and king while working to teach, sanctify, and lead others. Currently, it is housed at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

2. Chapeau D'Amour or "Love Hat" worth about $2.8 million.  This hat is displayed at Christies in London.  It was made out of platinum fabric, diamonds, and amethysts.  It was created by Louis Marietta back in 2009.  He found inspiration for it from ivy and bluebells in nature and his love on a walk.

3.  Deep Blue Sea is worth $200,000. As it's title indicates, it is a deep blue in color but it appears as a fantasy with flowers on top of flowers, rising upward to a height of 54 cm.  The creator found inspiration in the Great Barrier reef in Australia and used dark blue felt, feathers, and 26 Australian opals weighing in at 1440 grams.  Each opal is in a setting of Stirling silver and gold.  The chapeau made it's appearance at the 2007 fashion show in Milan and is considered a wearable sculpture.

4. The hat worn by Princess Bernice the royal wedding when Prince William married Kate Middleton back in 2011. The hat, designed by Phillip Treacy, garnered attention when she wore it because it is said to have resembled a toilet seat.  It is made of bow, ribbon, pink bun, and oval.  When you look at it, it looks like a tan bun surrounded by what looks like a ribbon covered oval you might put flowers in around the bun with something similar to a thick bow, wired in place.  Princess Bernice sold it off for around $134,000 and gave the proceeds to charity.

5.  Brent Black Hat is made Brent Black Hat company out of Medford, OR.  The company specializes in Panama type hats and can range up to $50,000 depending on the weave of the fabric, the style, and the brim.  The finer the weave, the more expensive it is.   Brent Black commissioned this particular hat.  It is made with toquilla straw hand woven in Ecuador, took 5 months to make, cost $100,000.

6.  Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat and cane sold for $62,500 back at an auction in 2012.  These are some he used when he made silent films and came from a private collection.  It is unknown how many hats and canes of his are left.

7.  The Vivian Westwood hat worn by Pharrell Williams at the 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony.  This "mountain hat" only cost Pharrell $180 to purchase but he later donated it to auctioned off for around $44,100 for charity.

8. Andy Warhol's "Money Hat" is said to have been offered for sale in the $800,000 to 1.2  million dollar range. Back in 1972, he covered a black straw Halston hat with $10 bills and even signed some of the bills.  He gave it to his friend, Dr Robert Giller, for his 30th birthday and included a picture of it in his 1979 book.  Years later, in 2015, the widow of Dr Giller put the hat up for auction but I don't know if it sold.

These hats are way out of my range and most of them are not the type I would actually wear.  At least three of the hats were purchased because of who wore them, while others are based on their wearable art value.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Learning More About Make-up and Clothing.

Girl, Woman, Blonde, Long Hair, Clothes Due to the lock-down and stay in place dictates I'm under, I have time to do things I don't usually do.  I've been exploring certain shows on Amazon Prime, ones that I've wanted to check out but haven't have time.

I began with "Making the Cut".  It is one of those runway competition shows where designers are given a challenge to create an outfit and their final entries are judged.  Often times, they are asked to create a runway version and an accessible version.

They've worked in pairs and individually.  Each one has been pushed to step outside their comfort zones and expand.  The clothing they create from my point of view are very edgy and not to my taste but it is what they need to be doing to make it to the next level.

I watched one person get dropped because she couldn't sew or draft patterns.  I guess she just comes up with the ideas and has someone else do the pattern making. She tended to go for lots of sparkles and pastel colors with big bows. I didn't think her work stood out particularly. Another went because his work didn't pop.  I've watched the first few episodes so far.

Currently, I'm starting the second season of "Gok's Fashion Fix".  I loved the first season because every week Got created four complete off the rack outfits to compete against four designer outfits.  He maintained, one can buy off the rack and with a bit of adjustment, the outfit can be as good as designer outfits costing hundreds and thousands of pounds. Furthermore, every week featured a different focus such as work clothes for the office.

Gok could spend no more than 800 pounds total for all four of his outfits including shoes and all accessories.  Then at the end of the episode, there'd be a fashion show with all eight outfits.  The audience had no idea which outfits were expensive and which were affordable.  The audience decided the winners by voting.  He won every competition in the first season.

I loved the way he shared ways to make off the rack clothing look far more expensive.   He'd take cloth flowers, sew them to a plain dress and to an added over the shoulder strap.  Voila, it looked so much better.  I even discovered that when you add a belt to the outfit, it can cover a seam where the bodice meets the skirt which is one thing to say it is off the rack.

He even layered things over dresses, put sheer blouses on upside down or back to front, threw on some bling, added things to shoes and the end result was so exciting and popped.  I'm getting ready to start season 2 tomorrow.

Then I found "Make me over, make me under" with Isobel Bedoya which I found quite helpful.  It is only about 10 minutes long but in those 10 minutes, the Isobbel does two make-overs.  For the first one , she helps someone who doesn't normally wear make-up and in for the second one, she takes someone who has overboard make-up and hair and helps them take it down to a more normal look.

For each step, she talks about foundations, primers, contouring, concealers and so much more.  She names each product she uses so you know what to buy and she includes the information on the shade.  I learned when doing eye shadow, put a transition color on first and then you put the normal eye shadow over it.  She shows how to add a bit of light color in the corners to make things pop more.

I learned there is an eyebrow template one can use to make sure you get the perfect eyebrow.  She used this on one person who had shaved her eyebrows and replaced them with checkered ones. I wouldn't be surprised to find out they have an eye liner template to help create the winged ones.

I like the short episodes and I plan to watch the series again because I can pick up additional tips to make my makeup look more professional.  I hope you get a chance to check these out.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter Activities During Social Distancing.

Easter Eggs, Easter Nest It is that time of year when Easter is celebrated.  This year, things will be quite different for most people who celebrate this day.

Instead of dressing up in your new Easter clothing, hopping in the car, and heading off to church to celebrate, most people will end up watching the service online or listen to it over the radio.

The local church in town has moved from the preacher running the service in the parking lot with folks distanced in their vehicles, to conducting the service online.

A child's customary search for the basket filled with candy or the search for eggs are things that might have to be done differently.  For individual families, everything can be hidden around the house or possibly in the back yard but community egg hunts will have to be done differently.

It was suggested that people draw and color huge Easter eggs and hang them in the window closest to the road.  That way, the parent can drive around while letting children "collect" eggs by pointing the ones they see.  The other way might be to use chalk to draw and decorate eggs on your driveway if you can do it safely while maintaining social distancing.

Print Easter scenes ahead of time so that on the day, children can enjoy coloring them.  There are a ton of these available on the internet.  One could easily place several of these in the children's baskets along with a pack of new crayons so they can color them in later.

It is still possible to create those family Easter pictures at home instead of going out.  Dress the family up, put them on the couch or in front of a really cool display and use your cell phone to take the picture.  There are several programs you can use to create the perfect picture.  If you are more adventuresome, take the family portrait in front of a sheet of green paper, or a green sheet and with a bit of magic, have the family sitting in a field of daffodils.

Use FaceTime or Skype to visit your neighbors or relatives for the traditional Easter get togethers.  This is a wonderful way for children to share what they found with the grandparents, or with family members who are halfway across the country.  Or if you have a member of the family who has to be quarantined or cannot be there, let them connect via an iPad or other mobile device.  Let someone hold the iPad or place it on the table so they can join in with everyone at the meal or celebration.  It allows them to feel less isolated.

Start a new Easter tradition by watching one or more Easter themed movies.  In today's world, you don't have to plan ahead, you can find one on any streaming service and have fun watching them.  You can check listings ahead of time so that you know which ones you want to watch.

Everyone is struggling with making Easter as normal with all the restrictions we are facing.  As long as we continue doing what we are doing, we can slow down the spread of the virus while giving our children a fairly normal life.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Which Foundation For Which Skin?

Portrait, Woman, Glamour, Make-Up Some of us are absolutely clueless when it comes to purchasing makeup of any type.  It is recommended one use foundation,  concealer, and powder to act as the base to your look.  Not all foundations or powders are the same.

It is important to know the type of skin you have so you can select the proper foundation Thisfor your face.

For instance, if you have oily skin, you should be using a matte finish where as if your skin is on the dryer side, go after a moisturizing foundation.

There are certain advantages to using a matte finish.  A matte foundation doesn't feel heavy on the skin, is easy to blend and build coverage, it is good for covering blemish prone skin, is better in a humid climate and is good for oily skin.  Unfortunately, it can make flaky skin look worse, and it is harder to correct blending mistakes once the foundation has set.

On the other hand, moisturizing foundation provide a light to medium cover that looks more natural.  It hydrates skin, has a satin or satin-matte finish that is great for normal to dry skin and sometimes leaves a slight sheen so you look more youthful.  The bad thing is a moisturizing foundation can make the oily regions on a face look worse.

There are foundations designed to promote anti-aging and may have serums as part of their ingredients.  This type of foundation can have great coverage while containing ingredients to promote anti-aging and  is a great part of an anti-aging routine.  Unfortunately, some anti-aging foundations may have only small amounts of the ingredients so they are not that effective.

Next on the list are pressed powder or loose powder foundations.  This type of foundation is great for providing smooth coverage for slightly oily or slightly dry skin.  This foundation is quite portable and easy to do touch ups and has a light weight feel.  The great thing about this particular foundation is that it can be used over a moisturizer with sunscreen built in.  It does not look good on a person is their skin is too oily or too dry and can appear a bit too powdery on the skin.

Then there is a creme to powder compact foundation which blends easily with a sponge or brush and when dries has a semi-matte finish.  It works best on slightly dry, normal or slightly oily skin and has coverage ranging from sheer to full. It also is easy to make touch ups on the go.  Unfortunately, it can look heavier than other foundations, emphasize oily or super dry skin.

Of course, one can use stick foundations which a medium to full coverage that can cover skin imperfections.  The bad thing is that some stick foundations can have a thick waxy texture leading to clogged pores or trigger breakouts.  It can make covering larger areas more difficult, and if too creamy, it can accumulate in creases.

Finally, we look at tinted moisturizers and BB cremes. These are tinted so they are easier to match skin tones because they go on almost invisibly and cover the skin better.  Often these products include sunscreen and hydrating ingredients.  On the other hand, since the tint is so sheer, imperfections can show through.

It is strongly recommended you use sunscreen everyday to protect your skin from accelerated aging.  The best time to use it is after you put on your moisturizer and before you apply your foundation.  When you have on your makeup, apply a physical sunblock either in the form of a spray or powder.  Make sure you remove all makeup from your face before you go to bed at night. You want to keep your skin in the best condition you  can.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Best By Date and Others

Shelf, Shop Fittings, Stock  Almost all food we purchase at the grocery store comes with a "Best By" date. I know some people who automatically throw food out if that date has passed because they believe the food is expired while others including myself tend to open it, smell it, and taste it to see if it is still "good".  As far as I can tell, few people I work with actually know what the term "Best By" really means.

First off, the only dates required by the federal government are on infant formula. This is because infant formulas need to be use while they are at their peak and have every nutrient at 100 percent.  They are not required for anything else but certain states and others require it and manufacturers use it.

This means a consumer might see one or more dates listed on any product they buy.  Some are for the consumer, some are for the store while some give both the manufacturers and stores some important information.

Best by or use before simply tell you when it is the freshest but it does not mean you can't eat it.  For instance, even though the bread might have a best used by date when it is freshest but most bread is still good past that date.  Once bread gets stale, I make baked French toast, stuffing, or bread pudding.  The best by date has nothing to do with expiration dates because food is still usable.  If food is past the best by date, it means the salsa might not be quite as flavorful or crackers might not be as crisp but the food is still edible.

On the other hand, you might see a sell by date which is sort of a use by date listed on the food you buy.  This is not for the consumer but for the retailer.  It tells the retailer that this product is ready to be moved and replaced, not because it is expired but because of the peak experience for enjoying the food. It is not an expiration date but for certain products such as deli, meats, or dairy, the date alerts the retailer that the product won't be good for too much longer so they often mark it down to sell it quickly.

Then there is a born on date.  This is often used on beer because after three months its quality can diminish due to the lights the bottles are exposed to.  The light can cause the microorganisms in the liquid to start growing again which can change the flavor and quality.  If the bottles are brown or green, the light effects their contents less than if the mixture is in a clear bottle.

The last date you might see, especially if you buy the whole case complete with box, you might see a manufactured date there.  It is the date the company made the item.  Sometimes the box has both a manufactured on and a best by date.  For some products, the dates can be up to a year apart.  Again, it does not mean the product is expired and cannot be consumed.

So the question that arises is "How do they determine the best by date?".  I've often wondered about this because I didn't think the food comes with a date on it so how do they come up with the dates.  Manufacturers use lab tests and actual taste testing to set these dates. Often times, companies err on the side of caution and set the dates for a shorter period of time.

With shortages occurring regularly at your local grocery store it is good to know about the differences in these terms.  If the food on the shelf is just past the "best by" date, you can still purchase it since it is still good but you might be able to request a slight discount.  The thing about best by dates is that things like beans, and rice tend to last quite a long time after the best by date.

I hope this has been helpful.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020

Does Make-up Expire?

Makeup Brush, Make Up, Brush, Cosmetics I grew up with a sister who spent most of the morning getting her hair styled and make-up on so I learned to just brush teeth and throw my hair in a pony tail, otherwise I'd run out of time.

In recent years, I've picked up a bit of make up just to try it out but I still look a bit like a dweeb when I have it on.  I looked at it the other day and wondered if it was still good?  Did make-up really expire or did it have a "use" by date which means it is still good past that point?

It turns out that make-up does have an expiration after which is it not good to use anymore.  The length of usage varies on whether it is eye liner, foundation, etc.  Unfortunately, manufacturers do not put expiration dates or use by dates on make-up so we have to go with some general guidelines.  By the way, on Monday, I'll be going over "Best By" numbers we see on food.

Liquid foundation is usually good for a full year while mascara and eye liner are only good for three months.  On the other hand lipsticks are said to be good for up to two years and compacts are considered good for the same length of time if they are stored properly.

If you want to use these for longer there could be problems.  For instance, as make up ages, the chemical composition can begin to break down so it may not spread as evenly on the skin or the preservatives break down, allowing material to grow on the product.  Even if the makeup is in an unopened container you've had for a while, the contents may not be fresh.  The makeup will still breakdown but in at at slower rate.

Furthermore, if your mascara, eye liner, or eye shadow becomes infected with bacteria, you could end up with conjunctivitis or other eye infection.  It is possible to revive old make up.  If your lipstick is on the old side, dunk it in alcohol before shaving the top layer off.  If you spray your powdered eye shadow or liner with a 70 percent alcohol, you can kill bacteria.

The way to tell if it is time to throw your make up out is based on each type.  If your foundation has started separating or turning a different color, get rid of it.  If your mascara is drying out and flaking or the smell has gone funky, throw it out.  If your lipstick is changing color or the smell has changed, it is time to get rid of it.  Any powders that get a filmy layer on it, throw them out.

There are ways to help these items last longer.  For instance, to keep your foundation longer, don't place your fingers directly on the bottle neck to get the liquid to spread on your face.  Place some on the back of your hand and then use your fingers to place that on your face.  This cuts down on the possibility of bacteria entering the foundation.  If you want your lipstick, or lip gloss to last longer, store it in a nice dry location.  Pencil liners tend to be better because you sharpen them frequently and that is better than liquid liner but for some of us the liquid is easier to use.

One other thing, make sure you clean your makeup brushes and tools regularly so you keep the chance of bacterial contamination down to a minimum.  Finally do not share your makeup with anyone and do not share your brushes.  You want to make sure you have the best experience with makeup.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April Fool's Day and Pranks

April Fools Day, April 1St, Joke Day April Fool's day is the first day of April.  It is a day when students tell me my shoelace is untied or I dropped something.  It won't happen this year due to school being out till the beginning of May.  I've often wondered when it started, haven't you?

April Fool's Day is also known as All Fools Day.  It is thought this day began back in 1582 when France switched from the Julian Calendar to our current calendar.

Since much of France was extremely rural, not everyone got told that the new year began on January first instead of March or April.  This caused these people to be teased and have tricks played on them because they were not following the new calendar.  Some people had paper fish attached to their backs and people called them "poisson d'Avril" or April Fish because this term referred to gullible people.

As time went on, April Fool's Day spread out to the United Kingdom in the 18th Century. At this time, it was celebrated over a two day period.  The first day people would be sent on phony errands and on the second day people would pin signs on other people's rears.  The signs might read something like kick me.

Eventually, it went to one day where people and even companies pull off pranks such as the one the BBC ran in 1957.  They reported the Swiss had a recored noodle harvest and even showed footage of the noodles being harvested from trees.  There are some great hoaxes recorded throughout history.

The earliest recorded April Fool's Hoax dates back to 1698 when people were encouraged to head over to the tower of London to watch the annual ceremony for washing the lions.  Quite a few people showed up and discovered it was fake but that didn't stop people from repeating in following years.  They targeted visitors from out of town and it became involved, people even printed tickets to the show.

Another wonderful prank occurred in 1749 when it was advertised that a man would squeeze himself into wine bottle and then sing while inside it.  Furthermore, people could hold the bottle to examine it.  The show sold out but people got a bit upset when the star performer never showed.  It is said this particular hoax came about as the result of a bet between a duke and an earl.  The duke bet he could advertise some possible show and people would pay to attend.  He was right.

In 1905, A German newspaper ran the story stating that a bunch of robber barons dug a tunnel under the United States Treasury in Washington D.C and stole all the gold and silver stored there.  According to the article, it took three years to dig the tunnel and they escaped with $268 million dollars.  The United States covered up the story while hunting for the thieves.  This story was supplied by their New York correspondent and the story spread through Europe on April 1st of that year.

In 1989, the founder of Virgin Airlines arranged for a UFO saucer to land in a field outside of London.  Citizens called it in so the police went out to investigate.  When the UFO opened and a silver clad creature walked out, the police turned tail and ran.  Turns out the UFO was actually a hot air balloon and the pilots were heading for London but ended up landing in Surrey.

Even magazines like Sports Illustrated are not above pulling a prank or two.  In the April 1, 1985 issue, George Plimpton wrote an article about a new Mets baseball pitcher Side Finch who could throw a ball at 168 mph.  The second line under the headline contained the phrase "Happy April Fool's Day".

In 2015, the toilet paper manufacturers Cottonelle tweeted an introduction to their new product which went viral.  Imagine, toilet paper for lefties but it is not known how many people fell for this one.  However, several years before in 1998, Burger King introduced a left handed Whopper that did get a lot of response.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about April Fool's day, its history, and some of the more popular stunts pulled by companies and people alike.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.