Archive for March, 2009

Harlem Represent, Varvatos Style


Converse by John Varvatos Harlem Jacket, $225 (80spurple)


Bad Skin, No Excuse: Best Products and Food for Clear Smooth Skin

I know everyone may not be born with great skin… some people eat and live a pretty healthy lifestyle, but somehow have acne and bumps. However, I feel like in 2009- there are too many products custom designed for people with abnormally “bad” skin. Check out a few of the best products to help clear your skin:

Skin ID
Proactiv finally met its match with a supposedly better, faster-working, semi custom-made acne treatment. It’s sort of new and I don’t know anyone who has used it, but they have a 100% money back guarantee.

Proactiv
From Diddy to Ryan Sheckler to my sister’s ex boyfriend. This system has been a hit since it hit the scene. This should be one of your stop when taking the journey for clear skin… plus there’s a 60-day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work.

Clean and Clear Advantage
This program promises to show results after 1 day and to leave you acne free in 8 weeks.

AcneFree Severe to Clear Acne Treatment System
A very inexpensive, but effective system.

Neutrogena Advance Solutions Complete Acne Therapy System
Neutrogena has some of the best products and many people swear by them. This therapy system is very popular and worth a try.

Klear Action Acne Treatment System
Some people call this the budget Proactiv– just as good, but half the price.

Get some of the products here.

In general drinking mucha agua is always good (lots of water). And having a balanced healthy diet will help you to maintain clear skin.

*I realize that some people have tried everything under the sun and still suffer from abnormal skin, if that’s the case I advise going to a dermatologist… if one can’t fix it go to another. In general people tend to just go to one doctor for a diagnosis or for help– well if one doesn’t fix your problem or help then go to another… it’s taken people 5 or 6 doctors to correctly diagnosis cancer, which I feel would be easy to diagnosis (check for lumps, do several scans)… I say all that to say, don’t give up and just settle for what one dermatologist says, search and search until you find the answer. I would also suggest trying natural remedies that you can probably make yourself, you can find the ingredients online.

Here’s an excerpt I pulled from WebMD.com:

What Are Foods for Healthy Skin?

Most experts say eating a balanced diet is the best way to get your share of good food for healthy skin. Still, a number of specific skin treats are more likely than others to give a boost of glowing good health to your complexion. Here’s what experts told WebMD are the most important:
Low-Fat Dairy Products. One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
Nutrition expert Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, says it’s doubly important to eat A-rich dairy foods if you have either diabetes or a thyroid condition.
“Many people who have these problems can’t convert the beta carotene to vitamin A, which is the form found in many foods that we normally associate with this vitamin, such as carrots,” says Lipski, the founder and Director of InnovativeHealing.com and the author of Digestive Wellness.
The A in dairy products, she says is “true A,” so everyone’s skin can use it.
Lipski says low-fat yogurt is not only high in vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the “live” bacteria that is good for intestinal health. Turns out, it may also have an impact on the skin.
“Anything that helps keep digestion normal, any live bacteria or enzymes, is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin,” says Lipski.
Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums. The common link between these four foods is their high antioxidant content. In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. The benefits of these foods for healthy skin are plentiful.
“Free radicals — like the kind formed from sun exposure — damage the membrane of skin cells, potentially allowing damage to the DNA of that cell,” says Heller. The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect the cell, she says, so there is less chance for damage.
“When you help protect the cells from damage and disintegration, you also guard against premature aging. In this respect, these fruits may very well help keep your skin younger looking longer,” says Heller.
According to the new study, other fruits and vegetables with a “high antioxidant capacity” include artichokes, beans (the study cited black, red, and pinto), prunes, and pecans.
Salmon, Walnuts, Canola Oil, and Flax Seed. These seemingly unrelated foods all deliver essential fatty acids, and thus are key foods for healthy skin.
“Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which is not only what act as barriers to harmful things but also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell,” says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
Because it is the cell membrane that also holds water in, the stronger that barrier is the better your cells can hold moisture. And that means plumper, younger looking skin.
Also, says Heller, the same inflammatory process that can harm our arteries and cause heart disease can harm skin cells. Essential fatty acids can offer protection to both.
The best-known essential fatty acids are omega 3 and omega 6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all seem to get enough omega 6, Heller says many people lack omega 3s. Fish, walnut, and flax seed oil are among the best sources.
Healthy Oils. These contain more than essential fatty acids. Eating good-quality oils helps keep skin lubricated and keeps it looking and feeling healthier overall, Lipski tells WebMD.
Which oils are the right oils for healthy skin? Lipski says those labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin are the ones to look for.
“When an oil is commercially processed, the first thing they do is add solvents and raise them to really high temperatures, then put it though five or six processes. Important nutrients are lost,” says Lipski.
By comparison, she says when oils are prepared by the cold-press or expeller process, or, in the case of olive oil, are extra virgin, preparation involves only pressing, heating, and bottling.
“You get all the nutrients that are not only good for your skin, but good for your body,” says Lipski.
Since any fat, even a healthy one, is high in calories, experts remind us that we don’t need more than about two tablespoons a day.
Whole-wheat bread, muffins, and cereals; turkey, tuna and brazil nuts. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
For instance, in two clinical trials, researchers at Edinburgh University showed that when levels of selenium were high, skin cells were less likely to suffer the kind of oxidative damage that can increase the risk of cancer. The results were published in 2003 in both the British Journal of Dermatology and the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. And a group of French researchers found that oral doses of selenium, along with copper, vitamin E and vitamin A could prevent sunburn cell formation in human skin.
What’s more, Lipsky says that filling up on whole-grain products leaves less room for the “white” foods that are a worse choice for skin health. These include white-flour items (bread, cake and pasta), sugar, and white rice. All can affect insulin levels and cause inflammation that may ultimately be linked to skin break outs.
Green Tea. This beverage deserves a category all its own in any article about foods for healthy skin. The skin-health properties in this beneficial drink just can’t be beat.
“It has anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s protective to the cell membrane. It may even help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer,” says Lipski.
Indeed, a study published recently in the Archives of Dermatology shows that whether taken orally or applied to the skin, green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light (such as the burning rays of the sun), and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Heller adds that the polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that may also be beneficial to skin health overall.
Water. While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water — not liquids such as soda or even soup — experts say skin cells rejoice.
“It is my belief that our skin needs at least a half gallon of good clean water — that’s about eight glasses — every day,” says Lipski.
While any good, clean water will keep your body and your skin hydrated, Lipski says hard water, the kind high in minerals, is especially good. Using water softeners to demineralize drinking water may reduce some of the potentially helpful effects.
“A water softener may help your plumbing, but it’s hard water that is better for your health,” she says.
In addition to keeping cells hydrated, water helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which Lipski says automatically leaves skin looking better.
She adds that when we’re properly hydrated, we also sweat more efficiently. Doing so helps keep skin clean and clear as well.

Rubber Band Man: NIXON’s Extremely Exclusive Monochramtic Watches





(excerpt from nixon.com)

New from Nixon, please welcome a unique new interpretation of one of our most iconic designs: The Rubber Player. Beginning March 15th, 2009 Nixon’s “4 x 4” will introduce 4 Rubber Players in a single colorway to the world. On the 15th of each month from March to June a new surprise color will be released. Participating shops will be shipped only 4 Rubber Players each month. Each surprise color will be kept secret.

Visit nixon.com to find a store near you.

The Urban Gentleman

The (Younger) Urban Gentleman Goes To Prom :: Prom Advice and Tips For Guys

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It’s that time of year! Prom is around the corner for most of our high school readers. For some it’s exciting for others it may feel more like a task, but either way I’m ready to help. When a girl gets ready for prom, she usually checks out the red carpet pictures at Hollywood events to find inspiration, and I feel guys should do the same. Luckily I have most of the major red carpet events featured, so click here to peruse the pictures.
You’re either going to prom solo or with a date- this will somewhat decipher what you will wear.

(above Tyler Williams and KeKe Palmer)

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Going to the Prom Solo:

When going solo, you don’t have to be confined to a certain color scheme- which can be liberating to some guys while others prefer to be directly guided.

Here’s your checklist:

– Buy ticket
– Secure a car or ride.
– Choose the tuxedo or suit
– Make pre and/or post prom plans

I’ll give my two-bits of the pre and/or post plan later, let’s start with the attire.

Prom Attire for Solo Guy:
Some people feel a tuxedo is the only thing a guy should wear to prom. I feel like a tux or suit is appropriate depending on the person, the budget, preference, etc. I cannot make that decision for you, you’ll have to figure that out on your own. But I’m assuming if you choose a tuxedo you’re renting (unless you have the money and plan to attend more black-tie events) and if you choose a suit you’re buying. For the average guy, I feel like prom is a great opportunity to purchase a well-tailored suit that you can later wear to interviews and other events. For formal events like Prom I always feel like the simpler the better. This is not Easter Sunday below the Mason-Dixie line, so there is no need to search for the most fashionable (and colorful) suit.

When choosing a suit opt for darker colors: black or navy are the best. Gray, chocolate, and maybe, just maybe a light khaki-ish or tan color. But honestly black is best, and if you feel black is too plain then choose a pinstripe black suit.

Terrance Howard in a black on black pinstripe suit

The key, the KEY to choosing a suit (by my standards anyway) is the material -or- the look of the material. I understand that everyone cannot spend $800 or more to purchase a top-notch silk suit. But even with a budget of $100-$200, you can buy a suit that looks rich (trust me I’ve done it). The way to get a inexpensive suit that looks like it cost atleast $500 is to focus on the material, all top notch suits have a bit of a sheen to them. When the suit hits the light at a certain angle it should have a slight shimmer. These suits are extremely hard to find in a discount suit store, but they are there… you just have to search. (Though I suggest having a budget of atleast $200 plus tax).

Once you start your “suit hunt” in the store there are two things you should do to decipher the quality:

1.) feel it- it should be soft (not stiff)
2.) hold a section of the suit in your hand and pay close attention to how it looks against the light- it should have a sheen

Examples of the shimmer:

Jeremy Piven

LL Cool J

Dominic Cooper

The suit is your core. Once you have secured it then you need:
– dress shirt
– tie and pocket square
– shoes
– belt and socks
– optional: vest

Dress shirt:
White is the best choice. If you choose a color, it should be a light hue, like light pink or light blue. If you’re an innately stylish guy that likes to go a bit harder you may choose a pinstripe shirt, which can easily liven your look without making it seem like there’s too much going on.

Tie and Pocket Square:
The colors of the tie and pocket square are dependent on you. Choose a color the compliments your complexion or eyes. If you have darker skin- golds and deep reds look great. If you have blue eyes- blue accessories would be nice, green eyes- green accessories. If you want a safe choice choose black, you can not go wrong with black.

For Tuxedo help, I’ll refer you here. But basically look at the pictures of stars in tuxs and choose a style that fits you. Generally I like a notch-lapel tuxedo with a waistcoat and bowtie.

Popular tie designs: paisley, polka dot, velvet bow-ties

Shoes:
Obviously dress shoes… I don’t care how different you want to be sneakers are NOT okay for the prom (unless you’re known as the “class clown”). The shoe color should compliment the suit.

Belt should be the same color as the shoes.
Socks should be the same color as the suit or shoes, unless you’re trying to be different. In that case they should be the same color as the tie /pocket square and it can be in any style or print.
Vest should match the suit or tie/pocket square.

_________________________________________________

Photobucket
(Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens)

Going To the Prom with a Date

It’s always nice to have a date when attending a formal event, it completes the experience. However having a date usually involves more planning.

Here’s your checklist:

– Purchase tickets

– Ask someone to go with you (if you haven’t already)

– Secure a car with driver or a car for you to drive with date. (I understand you may be on a budget, but try to get the nicest car you can afford)

– Ask your date what color she’s wearing. If she has the dress have her send you pictures of it or if she’s getting it made ask her for a small swatch of the fabric.

– Choose the tuxedo or suit

– Make pre and post prom plans (nice/upscale restaurant before)

– Order the corsage (the wrist corsage is usually preferred)

– Review the plans with your date

– Make plans for photographs (usually taken at the prom)


Prom Attire for Guy with a Date:
When you’re attending the prom with a date you really only have two options:

1. coordinate with her
2. wear a neutral color that will match with anything.

When you are with a date you do NOT want to upstage her– she’s spent hours and hours picking out the perfect dress. Your suit should compliment and highlight her dress. It’s better to keep it classic, meaning your best bet is to wear a black suit.

There’s two main looks that go with the two options above:

1. black suit, shoes, sock, belt, white shirt -and- a tie and pocket square that matches her dress.
2. black suit, shoes, socks, belt, bow-tie, white shirt and pocket square.

If you want to wear a color suit, check to see which color best compliments your dates dress:

Brown Suit: pink, orange, or yellow dress
Khaki Suit: black, blue, pastel/ powder colors- lavender, light blue, or light pink dress
Navy Suit: red, yellow, pink, white, brown, fuchsia, or purple dress
Gray Suit: blue, purple, green, and solid/jewel-tone colored dresses

models backstage in Jason Wu dresses

Here’s a few examples of how to coordinate one of the color suits with a dress:

– Your date has a black dress: you wear a khaki suit, white shirt, black tie and accessories.

– Your date has a pink dress: you wear a navy suit, white shirt, pink tie and pocket square, brown accessories (shoes, belt, socks).

– Your date has a green dress: you wear a gray suit, white shirt, green tie and pocket square, black accessories (shoes, belt, socks).

Zac Efron in a gray suit

Also, review the notes above for the “solo guy” on how to choose a suit or tuxedo.

Review, the best places to buy a suit.

_________________________________________________

Before Prom:
It’s proper etiquette to go to a upscale restaurant before prom- you know, the kind if restaurant you only visit on special occasions. If you don’t have the funds for it then try a nice, but less expensive restaurant. For example there’s Pricci, Maggianos, and Olive Garden- all good Italian restaurants. Pricci is the type of restaurant you should take your date, but if you don’t have the funds Maggianos would be a less expensive yet adequate enough back up. However, you do not want to go to Olive Garden for prom. Instead, if times really are hard, you should setup a nice dinner at your house or maybe even a family friends house (if it’s nicer). Get a white table cloth, a few candles, roses, and create your own restaurant. You can order from Olive Garden and have your little brother or sister act as the waiter.

Sun Dial restaurant in Atlanta

After Prom:
Just go home… no, I’m kidding. Usually after prom you’re hungry, you know all that dancing and partying has left you quite famished. There are a couple common after prom options: change clothes (if you brought them) and hang with friends at a cheap, but good diner (like Waffle House) or attend a prom after-party. I recommend the first, it’s just better. You can eat for cheap, relax, reminisce on the prom highlights, and maybe even make plans for the next night. It’s also a time to take more pictures and just be goofy and have fun! If you go to an after-prom party be safe– seriously though people are crazy these days, so if you go to a party make sure you know who’s hosting it and don’t drink alcohol. It’s always sad to hear the after-prom tragedies on the news–kids drinking and going to jail, fatal car crashes, etc.

Some teens also rent hotel rooms on prom night, I’m just going to be blunt about that– this is not your wedding night, so don’t try to take her virginity. I hope that wasn’t too forward, but seriously there’s plenty of time for that and prom night just shouldn’t be that night. But if you are sexually active then take condoms- wrap it up! There are just too many diseases out there!

_________________________________________________

For Restaurant Reviews: Zagat.com, Yelp.com, Dine.com
For Restaurant Reservations: Opentable.com or call the restaurant.
For Corsages: FTD.com or order from your local florist (that’s the best option). Oh and remember that it’s best to buy a wrist corsage, the pin corsage may damage her dress.

So let’s review…

You will need:

Suit or Tuxedo and accessories– be sure to get it tailored if buying. If you’re renting a tuxedo you should secure it atleast a month in advance.
Ticket (s)– order from school
Dinner Plans- make a reservation
Photographs– usually taken at prom, if not make plans
Car or Limousine– reserve in advance.
Corsage– order around 7-12 days in advance.
Extra Cash on hand– you never know what may come up (after prom meal, tips for valet, etc)
Personal camera– you or your date should atleast have a disposable camera to capture the memories.

Sometimes its easier to make these plans with a group, for example 2, 3, or even 4 couples go together. This also helps to cut cost down (limousine rental). If you choose to go in a group make sure that every gets along well- you don’t want to ruin someones prom night:-)

More prom etiquette: just be on your best behavior, be a total and complete gentleman- open the doors, make sure she orders first, she should sit before you do, if she gets cold put your jacket around her, and cover all expenses. (If you do split cost- usually its the photographs and maybe the limousine depending on the arrangements made.)

I hope that helps make your prom planning easier. Good Luck, have fun, and be safe!

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