The Difference Between a Texturizer and a Relaxer

There are vast numbers of beauty products available for managing hair health and style. Getting the right product for your hair type is not always a straightforward process. This is especially true if your hair is difficult to manage. Once you understand the differences between products such as a texturizer and a relaxer, you may be able to make proper choices for hair that is full and luxurious.
A texturizer relaxes natural curl patterns in hair. The purpose of a texturizer is to take tightly curled hair and loosen it. The texturizer¡¯s job is not to straighten hair but relieve some of the tension in curls. The end result is loose waves of curls as opposed to tightly coiled spirals. Benefits of a texturizer include hair that is easier to comb and style without damaging strands.
Use a texturizer that is made with herbal and botanical ingredients to improve conditioning while loosening curls. Application methods vary per product, but most texturizers are on hair for a short time. Once a texturizer is on, it shouldn’t be combed through hair. This may straighten the hair as opposed to just loosening curls.
A relaxer will straighten hair completely. A relaxer leaves behind sleek hair and does more straightening than a texturizer

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. While relaxers come in formulations with or without lye, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises even though a relaxer may contain a no-lye formula, there is still potential for scalp burning. Skin Biology reports sodium hydroxide is a common ingredient in relaxers. This chemical alters the pH factor of hair to straighten it. No-lye formulas use guanidine hydroxide, which may be less damaging but still harsh enough to cause problems.
The potentially harsh chemicals in a relaxer require the user to follow instructions provided with the product closely concerning the application, pre- and post- conditioning as well as how often to use the product. Product instructions should clearly state how long to leave the relaxer on the hair after applying it. When straightening completes

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, the hair is washed with warm water and a neutralizer is then applied. The neutralizer provides chemicals that stop the straightening action and keep hair from overprocessing.
When selecting the product best for your tight curls, consider the condition of your hair, the results you hope to achieve and the health of your scalp. Those with damaged hair may want to use a texturizer as opposed to a relaxer. The relaxer may harm hair while a texturizer may be less harsh.

The Best Inexpensive Organic Skin Care Products

Skin problems can include dryness, wrinkles and discolorations, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fight such skin conditions with a conditioning, nourishing skin care product. Unfortunately, some skin care treatments contain chemicals and other synthetic ingredients that may be bad for you. Opt instead for an organic skin care product that helps protect your skin without breaking your budget.
Aubrey Organics’ organic anti-aging skin serum comes formulated with vitamin C. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that topical use of this antioxidant vitamin can help with wrinkles and other signs of aging

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. It also contains organic jojoba oil and sea buckthorn oil. Skin care expert Paula Begoun says these moisturizing oils “can be helpful for dry skin” and notes that the buckthorn oil has antioxidant properties of its own. Begoun reports that the serum costs less than $16, as of 2009.
Rainwater Organics’ skin lotions come recommended by “InStyle” magazine’s beauty editors. They’re all certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and come in a wide range of scents, such as mint rainwater and citrus ginger. The editors note that beneficial ingredients include natural emollients that smooth and soften the surface of your skin. The magazine reports that the lotion costs $8, as of 2010.
Jarrow Formulas’ skin moisturizing oil was praised by “Real Simple” magazine, which states that it feels luxurious and works as a “dense emollient” to help restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier. It’s derived from organic, unrefined coconuts that are naturally rich in skin conditioners like triglycerides and caprylic acid, and the oil works by physically trapping moisture in your skin. The treatment rings in at $9.99, as of 2010.
Defending your skin from the sun’s aging ultraviolet rays is one of the ideal ways to keep your skin healthy. Aubrey Organics’ organic sunscreen has an ideal SPF rating of 20, according to Begoun. She says it costs just $8.50, as of 2009. She praised its lightweight texture, which doesn’t leave your skin feeling exceptionally heavy or greasy. The manufacturer also adds iron oxide pigments to give the sunscreen a sheer tint that helps even out your skin tone and camouflage blemishes.

5 Indoor Grilling Tips

Firing up the grill is a great way to prepare healthy food and to add that smoky taste that only an open flame can provide. It’s also a great way to entertain, with backyard barbecues being a three-season staple in the United States. Guests crack open a cold one and hang out around the grill

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, the aromas wafting through the air making the neighbors drool. Those are good times for sure, but what about the apartment dwellers of the world? Some apartment complexes may have a community area and grill, but good luck getting flame time on a nice summer evening. And many city dwellers don’t have access at all. In this case, the only option may be the indoor grill. While it’s no replacement for the real thing, it provides a decent alternative. Here are five tips for grilling indoors

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1990 Aston Martin Virage

The Virage had a sleeker body, still aluminum-paneled

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, with integral spoilers at each end, plus flush headlamps and side glass — all for a lower drag coefficient, down to a claimed 0.34. It also featured a modernized dash and even more luxury features than late AM V-8s, including a heated windshield, rear window, and front seats; trip computer; and remote infrared alarm system.
The 1990 Aston Martin Virage was very expensive but the company planned for low production — 300 yearly at most.
Pluses of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage:
Minuses of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage:
Production of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage: NA
Specifications of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage: Wheelbase, inches: 102.8 Length, inches: 186.4 Weight, pounds: 3,950 Price, new: $150,000-$258

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,648 (U.S.)
Engines for the 1990 Aston Martin Virage:

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1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper Touring Sedan

When Packard resumed production after World War II, it debuted its Twenty-First Series cars, which would be built for the 1946 and 1947 model years. The ten-model lineup came in four series: Clipper Six, Clipper DeLuxe Eight, Super Clipper Eight, and — at the very top — the Custom Super Clipper Eight.
The last included two 148-inch-wheelbase models, seven passenger sedan and limo, plus the 127-inch-wheelbase Club Sedan and Touring Sedan. The Touring Sedan listed at $3274, but escalated to $3449 during the model year.
It boasted Packard’s largest engine, a 165-bhp 356-cubic-inch straight eight with a nine-main-bearing crankshaft and silent hydraulic valve lifters. The Custom Super Clipper sported distinctive interior trim, special carpeting, broadcloth and leather upholstery, and imitation wood paneling.
Neil Torrence, from Arcadia, California, says his car was originally sold on September 10, 1947

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, in Long Island, New York. It later migrated to Atlanta, and finally to California. Equipment includes a Philco push-button radio with roof-mounted expanding antenna, Goddess-of-Speed hood ornament, special cloisonn¨¦ and dove wings in place of a front license plate, heater, defroster, and overdrive (“an absolute necessity for over-100-mph touring — which it will easily do,” says Neil).
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Neil’s Packard also has an Electromatic clutch, which is identified by a red clutch pedal. This vacuum-and-electric relay operated mechanism was offered from 1941-1950, and eliminated only the need to use the clutch — the driver still had to shift gears.
The Custom Super Clipper was not often seen even when new as only 5690 Club and Touring Sedans were built for 1947. They were — and are — respected as top level luxury cars, having attained Milestone status with the Milestone Car Society and full classic status with the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA). Neil’s 99-point beauty (with engine and body numbers F520229 and 7879) is the last classic Packard known to exist. And as recipient of the 1986 Paul Cerf trophy, it is only the second postwar Packard ever to win in CCCA Senior Class competition.
Neil’s Custom Super Clipper, acquired in 1984, has also been awarded CCCA National first place Primary, 1985; Best of Show, Post War, Packards International Grand Salon, 1985; and Best of Show, Packard Automobile Classics Annual Los Angeles Concours, 1986.
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How to Fix Lumpy Cheese Fondue

Creamy, savory cheese fondue is an ideal appetizer for a cool winter evening. Making cheese fondue is a simple process requiring only a few ingredients: garlic, white wine, shredded cheese and kirsch

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, which is a cherry-flavored liqueur. Combine and heat the ingredients

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, and if all goes well you will have a luxurious appetizer. Sometimes, the heating process does not go as planned, however, and fondue becomes lumpy. This lumpiness can result from undercooking the fondue, improperly aged cheese or overcooking. Most of these problems can be easily remedied.
Stir the cheese constantly while heating it over low heat. If you are using Swiss, Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, the cheese may not be heated enough. These cheeses often take time to melt completely.
Add 1/4 cup more Gruyere if you are sure that you heated your fondue correctly. If the Swiss or Emmentaler cheese wasn’t matured correctly, it will melt in a lumpy fashion and might not melt completely. Adding some additional Gruyere cheese may reduce the lumps by diluting the amount of improperly aged cheese because Gruyere is not likely to melt with lumps.
Add 2 tbsp. warm white wine to the fondue if the cheese is forming lumps after it initially melted. Your cheese may be lumpy because it is overcooking. The wine must be warm or it will make the cheese even lumpier. Heat the fondue on low and stir in the wine until the lumps disappear.
Add in 1/2 tsp. cornstarch and stir it in if the cheese is separating from the wine. The cornstarch is a last resort because it can change the texture of the fondue, but it will help bind the cheese and the wine together.

Effects of Gold on Skin

Egyptians believed the healing powers of gold could cure all manner of physical, mental and spiritual ailments. Romans used gold preparations for treatment of skin lesions and sores. It is believed that Cleopatra wore pure gold for a radiant complexion. In ancient Chinese medicine, gold was the secret to youthful skin. Today, gold leaf is used in the treatment and rejuvenation of skin conditions. The application of gold compounds to medicine, called chrysotherapy, reduces inflammation beneficial in the treatment of a variety of diseases, but this therapy often causes adverse gold-related skin reactions.
Many luxury spas use 24-carat gold leaf treatments to hydrate, firm and moisturize the skin, claiming reduced fine lines and wrinkles and resulting in smooth and radiant skin. A news feed from the World Gold Council site reported a gold leaf facial treatment created in Japan declaring gold leaf put on the face naturally rejuvenates skin and reduce wrinkles

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. According to the creators of the treatment, gold locks in moisture and keeps skin firm by maintaining collagen in the skin and inhibiting the breakdown of elastin. A study appearing in the ¡°The Journal of the American Medical Association¡± reported the effect of gold leaf on low blood-flow skin ulcers. Findings showed a significant improvement in mouth legions and skin ulcers with no adverse reactions to gold leaf observed.
Allergic reactions to gold are rare but can result from direct skin contact. According to a publication in the ¡°Daily News Analysis,¡± some people display allergic skin responses to gold jewelry or dental crowns, says Dr. Thomas Fuchs of Goettingen University Hospital in Germany. After a survey of various dermatological clinics and hospitals, he concluded pure, unalloyed gold can trigger allergic reactions. The degree of allergy varies from immediate dermatitis on hands and feet from contact with gold items to reactions only after many years of skin contact.
Chrysotherapy is a successful treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but dermatological reactions to gold limit therapeutic usage. A study done at Tel Aviv Medical Center reported in ¡°Annals of Rheumatic Diseases¡± was discontinued when patients given gold salts reacted adversely with symptoms including gold-induced skin rashes. After the study was stopped, coincidentally the patients with skin rash experienced remission in their rheumatoid arthritis. The patients without skin rash did not.
Gold is thought to have antibacterial properties and to help transport oxygen molecules into the skin for cell renewal to treat ulcers and inflammatory disorders of the skin. Some skin-healing benefits of gold were demonstrated by an in vitro chrysotherapy study by the University of Miami School of Medicine, which found that concentrations of gold administered in skin inhibited prostaglandin synthesis. ¡°The Journal of Investigative Dermatology¡± reported that the findings suggest gold is beneficial in treating autoimmune diseases and inflammation, and inhibits skin enzymes involved in blister formation.

1969 Mercury Cougar

Mercury raised its muscle car profile with the introduction of the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator. Taking its cue from such rivals as Z28 and SS Camaros, as well as Ford’s own Boss 302 and Mach 1 Mustangs, Ford introduced the Eliminator in April 1969. The Eliminator came with a range of engines, from the Trans Am-inspired solid-lifter 302-cid small block to the 428-cid Cobra Jet big block.
Muscle Car Image Gallery

Mercury had introduced its sporty coupe in 1967 as a luxury-touring alternative to the pony-car herd. It had mature styling and upscale interior appointments and was built on a Mustang chassis stretched by three inches to provide a longer, ride-enhancing wheelbase.
Mercury in these years was deeply involved in racing. It backed a variety of record-setting Comet and Cougar drag specials, as well as NASCAR-winning Cyclones

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. Its street image was tamer

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, though not for lack of trying. Cougar contributed with the ’68 GT-E, which like the Mustang, opened the year with an available 390-horsepower 427-cid V-8, then switched to the 428 Cobra Jet. The image was still more Euro luxury touring car than American muscle, though. It wasn’t until the release of the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator that Mercury was able earn a reputation for muscular Detroit iron.
Not all 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminators were that powerful. In all-out acceleration, the available 290-horsepower 302 was overmatched by the Cougar’s weight, but the 428 Cobra Jet benefited from the relatively generous wheelbase. Grip was slightly better off the line than in the shorter Mustang, and quarter-mile times were every bit as good.
Like Mustang, the Eliminator offered the 428-cid CJ with and without Ram Air, as well as in Drag Pak guise with an oil cooler and a 4.30:1 gear-ratio Detroit Locker rear axle. The Eliminator didn’t use the shaker hood; its standard scoop was functional only when Ram Air was ordered. A blacked-out grille, side stripe, and front and rear spoilers enhanced the muscular look, and Mercury offered the Eliminator in a palette of “high-impact” blue, orange, and yellow exterior colors.
More impact could be obtained over dealer parts counters, which offered not only headers and dual-quad carburetors, but such exotic hop-up components as deep-sump oil pans and quadruple Weber carburetor setups. From the factory, or with these available parts, the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator was true American muscle.

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These muscle car profiles include photos and specifications for each model:

Ready, Set, Save: The Budget Travel Quiz

Everybody deserves a good vacation every now and then, but how can you get away when your bottom line looks beleaguered? Luckily

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, the travel and tourism industries provide plenty of budget-minded vacation bargains — if you’re willing to seek them out. See if you have what it takes to plan a vacation on a dime with this budget travel quiz

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The Best Men’s Watches for a Man With Small Wrists & Hands

As any avid watch collector understands, choosing a watch is as much about your physical features as it is about the watch itself. For men with smaller wrists and hands, it is crucial to choose a watch that isn’t overpowering, ill-fitting or poorly shaped. Although your wrists and hands may make it difficult to choose a suitable watch

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, many top watchmakers offer non-traditional styles that will complement them.
A watch should fit snugly enough to stay in place as your wrist moves normally, but not tight enough to leave a mark or dig into your skin. Depending on your wrist size, this may limit the straps and bracelets available to you. For smaller wrists, bands with removable links may not be able to fit your wrist properly, as only a few links can be removed. This can limit your choices to watches with leather or nylon straps.
Although round-face watches are the most popular, watch connoisseurs recognize that square, rectangle and oval watches are a staple in any collection. If your wrists or hands are slightly thinner than the norm, a square or oval face often fits snugly and compliments your wrist shape. Rectangular and ellipse watches are best suited to bonier wrists, because the face is often thinner and able to fit beside wrist bumps instead of directly on top. If you have smaller hands, a classic round watch with a narrow band should fit just right.
A 2011 New York Times article pointed out a burgeoning trend in the watch world — the gradual size increase in popular men’s watches. Although many notable watchmakers are prone to producing watches with massive faces and thick straps, a bigger watch isn’t necessarily more stylish than a smaller design. Thin styles from many respected watchmakers incorporate minimalist faces with emphasis placed instead on the quality of the movement; other styles focus on unique faces with maximum metallic shine from a gold, bronze or stainless steel casing.
The guts of your watch can affect the look and feel as much as the exterior qualities. A mechanical movement relies on movement of a rotor, and is wound either manually or by your wrist movement. Mechanical movements are perfect for those with slim wrists, as these movements can be quite compact, creating a thinner watch altogether. A quartz movement is also a solid option, especially for buyers on a budget. Quartz movements are light and durable, relying on a battery for power, and come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t let your wrist size limit your style, get the watch you’ve always wanted by keeping fit, face, size and movement in mind.