The holy month of Ramadan has a spiritual meaning to our lives. We try to prohibit ourselves from all the wrongdoings and excesses of human nature and express our gratitude to the Almighty by offering prayer five times a day. After a long day of restraint, it is just so peaceful to break the fast with our beloved families at Iftar.
After a month of fasting, Eid ul Fitr comes to spread joy among friends and families, bringing every one closer to each other.
To all the ladies out there, I know how important Eid is for us. Instead of the busy schedule of Ramadan, we try to make time to get the perfect dress, accessories & makeup for this special day. I know how hectic it can be going from shop to shop finding that perfect dress, matching shoes , and trying to figure out ‘the look’ we want to pull off on the day, with our make-up.
So I may not help you with the first two but let me assist you in the last one. For me make-up is an accessory. Just the perfect amount can make your look complete and overdoing it, can do the exact opposite.
But don’t worry I am going to help you step by step. Let’s start with a morning make up for eid day.
I know you all ladies buy a dress just to wear in the morning after shower - I call it ‘THE AFTER SHOWER DRESS’ - it’s basically a simple dress which is comfortable enough to attend guests but also the perfect amount of fancy for what is a special day.
So with a simple dress you want to keep your make up minimum also fresh since its morning and you are at home. You want to avoid layering tons of product on your face. Just stick to a light foundation and a loose powder to set it. Just a little amount of shades on your eyelids to make it pop, light wash of color on your checks and the right amount of your favorite highlighter to give you that healthy glow. You can also go with a thin line of liner or skip it entirely, depends on what you like. But don’t skip mascara because it will give your lashes just the right amount of lift. Ladies just make sure you add your own attitude to it.
New York , May 30 (AP/UNB) — From a tiny bottle of nail polish, a luxury fashion empire was born.
Designer Christian Louboutin says he was experimenting in his factory one day when he suddenly seized his assistant's bottle of red polish to blot out the usual black soles and try some bright color.
The experiment stuck, obviously. And now Louboutin's red-soled stilettos, featuring sky-high heels and fetching sky-high prices, are "utterly iconic as a symbol of erotic femininity," says Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT — explaining why Louboutin has been chosen as this year's honoree of the museum's Couture Council.
The prestigious honor, awarded each year at the beginning of New York Fashion Week in September, usually goes to a clothes designer. But, Louboutin told The Associated Press this week, fashion lovers have a special relationship with shoes — more than with clothes, or at least different.
"The woman carries the clothes. But the shoes? They carry the woman," the Paris-based designer said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "So it's a very different interaction." The shoe, he said, "is a pedestal. But this little thing on your feet is also making you a different person, in a lot of ways. It's affecting the entire silhouette and the way you're going to walk and move."
There's another advantage, he adds, to footwear: The wearer can see it. "If you have a dress, you can't see it unless you have a mirror. But if you have a pair of shoes, you can still look at your feet. All the time."
Steele, at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), says shoes have always been an important part of the museum's voluminous collection, which includes some 4,000 pairs "and counting."
"People really obsess over their shoes," she says. She calls Louboutin's red soles "a stroke of genius — what a simple and yet effective thing, because red is coded for us as the color of passion and seduction and love ... but who would have thought to have put it on the sole of a shoe?"
Louboutin also designs men's shoes, but it's women's footwear he's famous for, especially the heels (though he designs flats, too). They range from hundreds of dollars per pair well into the thousands, depending on the adornment. They're loved by celebrities; "I'm throwing on my Louboutins," goes the chorus of a 2009 Jennifer Lopez song.
Louboutin, 56, says his career began with a childhood hobby of sketching shoes.
"When adults asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I said I wanted to draw shoes," he says. "But I didn't think it was a real job."
He'd been designing for several years when he discovered the red-sole idea in the early '90s. A few weeks after the nail polish experiment, he says, he was in his Paris shop, watching a couple consider a pair of shoes with typical black soles. His female co-worker felt the man was "very handsome," Louboutin says, and watched as he turned over a pair of shoes to find nothing interesting on the soles. When the couple left, the co-worker remarked that she should have put her phone number on the soles.
Louboutin took that as a sign, he says, "that the sole should have its own identity."
He considered changing the color every season, but then realized that red — the color of blood, he points out — was unique. "I had many customers who would only wear black, but they wore red on their lips or on their nails," he says.
Louboutin's shoes are worn by fashionistas around the world — first lady Melania Trump seems to be a fan, often photographed in Louboutins like a towering yellow pair she wore recently in Japan.
Louboutin says only that he enjoys seeing who wears the shoes, and how. "My job is designing shoes and producing an object of desire for women," he says. "After that it's no longer in my hands, and I'm no one to judge who is wearing them or how you should wear them."
He adds that although celebrities are obviously good for business, his preference is to discover someone he doesn't know, looking good, in his shoes.
"I'm walking in the street, and I look at the shoes and they look good and I'm almost jealous," he says. "And then I look and it's a red sole, and I go woo-hoo!"
The Couture Council luncheon on Sept. 4 coincides with a new exhibit at The Museum at FIT: "Paris, Capital of Fashion," running Sept. 6 to Jan. 4.
Washington, May 24 (AP/UNB) — Living by the beach is becoming even more cost prohibitive.
While many Americans know about the sky-high costs of housing in New York City or Seattle, affordability is increasingly the worst in areas where the wealthy vacation and a large share of local workers cater to their needs. The trend taps into the worsening economic inequality that is reshaping American society.
Roughly 78% of U.S. metro areas have seen home prices rise faster than wages, according to an Associated Press analysis of home values tracked by CoreLogic and government income data. Of the top 10 communities with the biggest gaps between home values and incomes, half were seaside. But there were also places with a growing concentration of highly-paid tech jobs.
"In places that see a widening gap, buying a house and achieving the American Dream is going to be increasingly difficult," said Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. "But if you can get your foot in the door, the benefits may last for a lifetime."
The widest chasm in home prices relative to incomes was in Honolulu, followed by Los Angeles and the Hawaii city of Kahului. Other metros in the top 10 of largest gaps in affordability include Key West, Florida and Ocean City, New Jersey, both tourist destinations. Just outside the top 10 are San Diego, Santa Cruz and part of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Consider Ocean City. This southern stretch of the Jersey shore includes the Victorian cottages of Cape May, the sweeping mansions of Avalon and wood-planked boardwalk of Ocean City, which became a family-oriented resort destination after banning the sale of alcohol. Home prices have climbed 158% since 2000, while wages have increased just 45%.
The area balloons in size each summer with a swell of vacationers, which creates jobs during the summer. But the wealthy with summer homes — who've seen their incomes soar — often earn their fortunes elsewhere. Few restaurant employees and seasonal workers can benefit from a growing stock portfolio or lavish bonuses. So as home prices rise and income growth lags, the year-round population of the surrounding Cape May County has fallen 8.6% since 2000.
Other metro areas in the top 10 of worsening affordability include major tech hubs such as San Jose, California and Austin, Texas. The boom in parts of California has been so robust that price growth in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco is now running below 2% and could turn negative, possibly narrowing the gap relative to incomes.
Rounding out the top ten are the California cities of Napa and San Luis Obispo and Boise, Idaho.
Areas where homes are still affordable relative to incomes are generally in two types of areas.
They're either in places such as the mid-size Georgia cities of Albany and Valdosta where home prices have yet to fully recover to their pre-2008 peaks.
Or, they're in places in Illinois such as Bloomington or Peoria where home prices never experienced either a surge or subsequent crash from the housing bubble, and have seen property values stay mostly flat since 2008.
Seattle, May 22 (AP/UNB) — Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.
It allows licensed facilities to offer "natural organic reduction," which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span of several weeks.
Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.
"It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death," said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People's Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.
Supporters say the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation, which releases carbon dioxide and particulates into the air, and conventional burial, in which people are drained of their blood, pumped full of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can pollute groundwater, and placed in a nearly indestructible coffin, taking up land.
"That's a serious weight on the earth and the environment as your final farewell," said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, the Seattle Democrat who sponsored the measure.
He said the legislation was inspired by his neighbor: Katrina Spade, who was an architecture graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when she began researching the funeral industry. She came up with the idea for human composting, modeling it on a practice farmers have long used to dispose of livestock.
She tweaked the process and found that wood chips, alfalfa and straw created a mixture of nitrogen and carbon that accelerates natural decomposition when a body is placed in a temperature- and moisture-controlled vessel and rotated.
A pilot project at Washington State University tested the idea last year on six bodies, all donors who Spade said wanted to be part of the study.
In 2017, Spade founded Recompose, a company working to bring the concept to the public. It's working on raising nearly $7 million to establish a facility in Seattle and begin to expand elsewhere, she said.
State law previously dictated that remains be disposed of by burial or cremation. The law, which takes effect in May 2020, added composting as well as alkaline hydrolysis, a process already legal in 19 other states. The latter uses heat, pressure, water and chemicals like lye to reduce remains.
Cemeteries across the country are allowed to offer natural or "green" burials, by which people are buried in biodegradable shrouds or caskets without being embalmed. Composting could be a good option in cities where cemetery land is scarce, Pedersen said. Spade described it as "the urban equivalent to natural burial."
The state senator said he has received angry emails from people who object to the idea, calling it undignified or disgusting.
"The image they have is that you're going to toss Uncle Henry out in the backyard and cover him with food scraps," Pedersen said.
To the contrary, he said, the process will be respectful.
Recompose's website envisions an atrium-like space where bodies are composted in compartments stacked in a honeycomb design. Families will be able to visit, providing an emotional connection typically missing at crematoriums, the company says.
"It's an interesting concept," said Edward Bixby, president of the Placerville, California-based Green Burial Council. "I'm curious to see how well it's received."
New York, May 21 (AP/UNB) — Coca-Cola drinkers will get a chance to relive one of the company's darker chapters as New Coke makes a comeback under a partnership with the Netflix drama "Stranger Things," the companies announced Tuesday.
Season 3 of the show will take place in the summer of 1985, when Coca-Cola changed its formula for Coke. New Coke was considered one of the biggest marketing blunders of all time and the new version was dropped after 79 days, though sales of the original Coca-Cola rebounded.
"The summer of 1985 did in fact change everything for us with the introduction of New Coke, which was also arguably one of the biggest pop culture moments of that year," said Oana Vlad, director of Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola North America.
Workers had to retrieve the New Coke recipe from the safe for the "Stranger Things" partnership.
"All told, everything took about six months and was top secret," said Peter Shoemaker, director of sparkling category commercialization.
Workers also had to recreate the logo and the slightly different Coke red for the cans from more than 30 years ago.
"The partnership with Coke gives Netflix the opportunity to reach a massive audience via one of the most recognizable brands in the world in a deeply authentic way," said Netflix Head of Global Partner Marketing Barry Smyth.
Beginning Thursday, Coca-Cola will release a limited number of cans of New Coke as part of a "Stranger Things" package. An "upside-down" Stranger Things-inspired vending machine will also pop up in select cities this summer to dispense free cans of New Coke for a limited time.