Friday, October 21, 2016

New in the world of beauty

The October issue of Marie Claire highlights some advances from Beauty Lab, an incubator where various companies partner with the magazine to create new beauty approaches.

PERFUME. I tear out those perfume samples in the mags all the time--but they sort of smell like paper. So people shop online--but how can you tell if a scent meshes well with your own chemistry? has a quiz based on syesthesia--the brain phenom of senses mixing, as in say, smelling a color.  Or you could go to The Harmonist ( to use Chinese astrology to match yourself to a new perfume. Or--if you insist--you can get two samples of scent for $10 at

NAILS. There is new technology. The Inail S8 printer ($2000+) will be coming to nail salons. It deposits designs on your nails. For home use, Preemadonna's Nailbot--pick a design, stick your finger in the machine...for $199 by year's end.

BEAUTY BOXES. From Influenster;s VoxBoxes ( or write reviews and you can get free full-size products to review. With PlumPerfect's Girl Seeks Sample plan (, you upload a photo and get customized suggestions of products. Samples are two bucks or less.

WANT TO LOOK LIKE SOMEONE? With Rimmel London's new app (iTunes, google), you click on a face with makeup you love and learn which of the brand's products will achieve it.

And new and hot now in beauty nutrition? Fortified Honey. Forget green juice--it's over. Go to

You look mahvelous, darling!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to "talk" about addiction

If you have someone in your circle or family who is addicted to substances, this can get very fraught. It seems so intractable, so expensive, so avoidable--you may want to lash out at times.

But you have to remember, says addiction specialist  Russell Surasky, Surasky Neurological Center for Addiction, that we have to become more sensitive to words that stigmatize. Addition is a disease, it lays waste to families and entire communities.

Addiction is a chronic ailment that changes the structure and functioning of  the brain.

We don't refer to people with physically apparent disabilities as spastics, cripples, or crazies, do we?

Shouldn't we regard addicts with respect and confer their dignity, too?

Surasky recommends:

--Avoid words like crackhead, junkie and addict. People with cancer recover--we don't refer to them as ex-cancer patients. But we often say ex-addict. Instead use words  like "person struggling with addiction," or "person with a substance use (not abuse) disorder."

--Avoid "drug abuse" and "substance abuse."  These sound like child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic abuse.

--The word addict labels a person...preferable is use of the word "addiction."

If you have this situation in your family, you know the person is not a weak crackhead or something--so let's clean up the language.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Look who's happy

How about "beachin'"?
I have a sort of weird one for you today.

According to a story in Nextgov by Ellie Anzilotti, Spur Projects, a suicide-prevention group, collected data on people's moods from around the world in an app called How Is the World Feeling?

They looked at 7 million people's emotions periodically over the course of one week.

Users of the app were asked to select from six possible emotions:

The author of the piece was contacted and and was relatively happy working, surrounded by people, and indicated she was HAPPY. The app then informed her that around 7,000 people were also happy at that moment. 9,000 came in as peaceful. And 6,000 were anxious.

A map was presented showing distribution. Most of the data points were in the US, Europe, and Australia. But one person in Lebanon came on as angry, and one in Laos was happy.

The idea, apparently, is for people to check in on how they are feeling from time to time during the day. They also think this data trove will help structure work and workplaces--say more people are Happy at quitting time--what does that tell them?

As I said, this is weird. For one thing, I think they need more emotions...I discussed this with three people...One said they need OK on the list. Another said WORRIED. How about CONTENTED. Or AFRAID? And when I asked my daughter which one she was at that moment, she said HUNGRY.

But for what it's worth...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eating fruit may stave off macular degeneration

Coffee may also be a plus when it comes to avoiding this potentially blinding condition that affects the macula--or center of the retina.

Many studies, of course, have confirmed the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet--fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, healthy fats and fish--with red meat and butter as side dishes at most. Olive oil is featured.

This diet has been shown pretty convincingly to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cancer.

Researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal  studied 883 people 55 and older in the central region of the country (2013-15). Of that number, 449 had age-related macular degeneration in its early stages (before vision loss). Four-hundred thirty-four did not have it.

The researchers assessed their diets. The more foods they are from the Med Diet, the higher the score from 0-9.

Below six--50% had AMD. Of those who .did eat the Med Diet foods a lot of the time--only 39% had AMD.

This represents a 35% lower risk.

Fruits were especially beneficial.

Also protective were caffeine and antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamins C&E, were also measurably beneficial.

Caffeine is not part of the Med Diet but is a powerful antioxidant.

The research was sponsored by Novartis, I should note.

Still, could it hurt to eat more fruit?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rock stars don't eat healthy

First, there is a publication called Medical Problems of Performing Artists.

In the June issue, researchers from Saint Louis University surveyed 35 musicians and found that 80% considered healthy eating to be a priority.

More than 75% said they felt confident making healthy choices.

And 82% said they knew how to cook in a healthy way.

BUT--they also had problems getting access to healthy foods, with venue concession food, last-minute buffets, fast food, and airport food being so heavily featured in their lives.

Also--others on tour may not support their desire for healthier foods.

In other words, cheeseburgers in paradise may not be paradise.

And musicians are physical--they work nights, travel days, may not sleep well, and then must prance around on stage like a athlete.

What is the solution? Maybe better buffets backstage--lose the M&Ms. More trips to the grocery store for fruit.

Trisha Yearwood has a Food Channel show using her southern recipes--and even she says she is glad to get home cooking, even if she cooks it herself.