The Beauty Of Geishas

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No sight is quite as breathtaking as that of a geisha. Japan has enjoyed the beauty and mystery of geishas for centuries. Unfairly labeled as prostitutes by many, geisha has remained an iconic figure in Japan’s history. Not only is being a geisha a rigorous process, the beauty and makeup involved are very tedious and the process hasn’t changed much in many years. Find out how the geisha maintain their fancy makeup palette.

Loosely translated, the word “geisha” is understood to mean “artist” or “performing artist.” Geisha who practice the true tradition of the art form of entertainment distinguish themselves from prostitutes who use the same makeup and attire by wearing their sashes – called obi – in back of their fancy kimonos, while prostitutes in geisha garb wear their sashes in front.

There are conflicting stories as to how the whole ideas of geisha came about. One of the most popular stories involves the appearance of Europeans in Japan and immediate rumors that spread to villages of people with a “ghostly pale complexion.” Training to be a geisha can take between six months to a year, and often the younger the girls are, the better.

The first stages of geisha training involve working as maids, doing household chores and tending to the senior geisha. They are referred to as “shikomi.” After passing an exam, recruits graduate to the second stage of training, which relieves them of household chores and garner them the title of “minarai.”

The second stage of training involves learning intricate practices of activities such as pouring tea, playing instruments and dancing. Many geisha in training are given a mentor who acts as an older sister, teaching by example and introducing them to the daily activities of geisha.

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The third and final stage allows recruits to covet the term “maiko,” which are apprentice geisha. Maiko continues to receive more instruction from their mentors, called “onee-san” or “older sister,” until they are officially inducted as a true geisha.

The makeup application process is detailed and time-consuming. First, a wax or oil substance called “bintsuke-abura” is applied to the skin, followed by white powder mixed with water that is like a paste. A bamboo brush is used and the application starts from the neck up. The white makeup covers the entire face, neck, and chest. Afterwards, the eyes and eyebrows are drawn in using charcoal or more modern cosmetic items. Using a small lip brush, lipstick is applied.

The rich red color comes from melting the red stick in water and adding crystallized sugar for luster. The top lip is usually fully colored in, with the bottom lip only receiving a small curved strip. Newer geisha are expected to wear their full makeup almost daily. As they get older, the makeup can be more simplified, to showcase the aging geisha’s natural beauty. This stage of simpler makeup is often allowed after three years.

While geisha aren’t quite as abundant in Japan as they used to be, these mysterious beauties can still be found in Japan’s exquisite tea houses, restaurants and tourist locations.

The Best Bathing Suit For Your Body Type

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With a variety of styles and designs, even one-piece swimsuits are making a comeback. But the challenge lies in finding the right style for your particular body type. Certain patterns can enhance problem areas, while others draw attention to your assets. Once you know what styles flatter your body, you’ll be able to find the perfect bathing suit in time to hit the beach!

Small Bust

Before you think about getting implants, look for bathing suit tops that enhance the cleavage you have. Push-ups and padded tops are very popular nowadays. Don’t want to show too much skin? Then try a top that has ruffles or a horizontal neckline. This draws attention away from your small chest but also gives off the appearance of a fuller bust. Avoid tops that have horizontal stripes or patterns, as this can make you appear flattered.

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Large Bust

With large busts, it’s all about providing support. Choose a bathing suit top that has wide straps so you get plenty of back support, as well as tops that have foam cups or built-in bras that lift. Tankinis are also another option for busty gals that offer great coverage. To draw attention away from a large chest, wear a solid dark color on top and a solid light color on the bottom.

Tummy Control

If you’ve got a little tummy pouch, your best bet is a one-piece swimsuit that offers an empire waist or side shirring. Some styles even have built-in control panels that create a slimming effect. Diagonal lines and patterns, dark colors and high-waistbands are a plus for women who want their swimsuit to hide their stomach issues.

Long Torso

The key to finding a swimsuit for long torsos is to create balance or the illusion of a shorter torso. Try out a tankini with a horizontal break or stripe under the bust line with high-cut bottoms. For a sexier look, opt for a one-piece with a cutout in the stomach area. This breaks up the appearance of a long torso. Avoid high neck bathing suit tops as well as vertical stripes, which can make your torso appear longer.

Short Torso

For women who are a little short in the midsection, bikinis will become your best friend! To create the appearance of length, go for bikini bottoms that sit low on the hips. If you’re looking for a one-piece bathing suit, choose a style that has a plunging neckline or vertical stripes. Stay away from boy shorts and bottoms with a skirt, since these make your torso look even shorter.

Bottom Heavy

Whether you have a lot of junk in the trunk, big thighs or both, there are bathing styles that suit this body type. Draw attention away from the lower part of your body by wearing tops that enhance your upper body like halters, padded and push-up tops. Printed tops with dark, solid colors on the bottom will automatically cause the eye to move up instead of down. High-cut bottoms can slim large thighs and boy shorts provide excellent coverage. Also, try a strapless style to balance out your figure.

The 411 On The Shellac Nail Polish Trend

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Making an appointment at the local nail salon is a must for many women that enjoy having their nails pampered and painted. Of course, this luxury can also become a hassle if the results are not maintained properly – not to mention the cost eventually adds up over time. Thanks to the latest trend, known as shellac nail polish, nail salons everywhere are experiencing a new boom in business and happier customers all around.

In general, the results from a traditional manicure can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks or longer, depending on how well a person takes care of their nails. However, daily tasks and certain occupations often end up damaging the nails, which typically includes the nail color chipping and/or flaking off. This daily wear and tear are what leads most women to constantly return to the nail salon to freshen their manicure.

Shellac nail polish is a new trend that eliminates much of what most women typically experience after they leave the nail salon. Shellac nail polish works in the same way as regular polish and the application process via manicure also works the same way. The basic way this type of manicure works is to first prep the nails as normal, followed by applying a thin base coat.

Next, the nails are placed under a UV lamp for about 10 seconds. Another coat is applied, followed by another trip to the UV lamp. This time the nails are left under the UV lamp for up to two minutes. The rest of the manicure involves adding two coats of the shellac color and a top coat.

The main difference between the shellac manicure and a regular manicure are the end results. The first major benefit is that this polish remains on the nails much longer than traditional nail polish – several weeks, in fact. This is due to the “gel” formula the shellac color is based on. A shellac manicure can last as long as one month with good maintenance.

Additionally, this type of nail polish won’t smudge, especially if left to set properly under a UV lamp. Only when new nail growth is apparent, does a person need to go back to the salon to get a fresh manicure? The removal process is quite involved as well.

The company that manufactures the shellac polish for nail salons strongly encourages consumers to stick to having a professional, licensed technician remove the shellac instead of trying to do it at home. The official removal process requires wrapping the nails in a special acetone formula, which allows the color to come off easier.

So is there a downside to this seemingly perfect nail polish trend? First, not just anyone can get a shellac manicure. The ideal candidate would be a person whose nails and nail bed are naturally strong and healthy.

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Another downside is that over time, the acetone wraps can do damage to the nails as well as the abrasive methods used to remove the gel shellac color. The price is typically twice that of what a traditional, basic manicure would cost. The price tends to range from $30 to $40 for the full manicure. Removal without reapplication of the color is $5.

Failing to have a properly licensed nail technician apply the shellac is a surefire way to experience bad results. It is vital that only an experienced professional perform this service, including removal. As a side note: shellac polish is only sold to nail salons and should not be done at home or purchased for home use.