Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 20, Tuesday, May 15, 2012




What is aging you?

Beautician, La Belle, 13/A /2 Kemal Ataturk Avenue, (3rd/ 4th fl) Gulshan -2

Whether or not you look older or younger than your calendar age doesn't just depend on your genes. There are a range of factors that determine how fast you age . The physical signs of aging are obviously inevitable, but the pace at which they occur isn't.

There is a large body of research to support the degree of control we have over the process, we do not simply inherit longevity, it's the sum total of our lifestyle habits.

The amazing difference that simple lifestyle changes such as regular exercise , low or preferably no alcohol intake, no smoking can add years to your life. The main wreckers or age accelerators to beware of are...

Poor diet
Eating healthy is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing age-related diseases and not to mention, to keep the skin looking youthful too. Choosing the right kinds of foods -- namely fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidant - can counteract the aging effects brought on by free radicals in our system.

Drinking plenty of water and eating healthy plant oils (sunflower, corn, mustard etc) are essential for a hydrated and plump complexion. In contrast sugary, processed foods can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres, which in my opinion are the scaffolding that keep skin together, taunt and supple. Eating saturated animal fat can over burden the heart and liver, resulting in a dull lifeless complexion.

Sedentary lifestyle
Exercise or the lack of it has to be the biggest factor contributing to ill health and aging. No exercise reflects on your skin, as lack of proper blood circulation makes the skin sallow. Boosting it with exercise makes skin radiant. Staying active helps prevent many conditions associated with aging such as heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis to name but a few. Exercise increases intake of oxygen into the blood stream, literally injecting them with health and believe you me it shows on your face.

You think smoking only affects your lungs? It not only affects your lungs but there is no part that is not affected by it. It decreases oxygen supply within the system, interferes with renewal of bones, reducing their density; kills oral health; suffocates skin by dehydrating it and causing it to wrinkle. Puckering of the lips to inhale the poison gives you the perfect wrinkly mouth that will disgust anyone. Yes look closely in the mirror.

Moderate exposure is good, especially for children as sunshine flushes your body with Vitamin D, which is vital for a healthy immune system and strong bones. The magic word is 'moderate'. The sun is the single most damaging factor for the skin, according to dermatologists 80 percent of skin problems are sun damage related. It can contribute to age spots (mesta) wrinkles, pigmentation and loss of elasticity. Not to mention skin cancer due to tanning, which thankfully we do not do willingly in our part of the world.

Stress used to be merely seen as a state of mind. Now, there is enough evidence that prolonged episodes can hamper your health and age your body. Stress causes blood pressure, disrupts sleep, affects your immune system and makes you gain weight. Your hair suffers too; anxiety can thin, or grey them quicker.

Well its ' haram ' in our religion for very good reasons -- it contributes to liver disease, heart problems, weakened bones, and can be a risk factor to breast cancer. Not to mention a little extra consumption turns you into a complete fool more often than not. And it can ruin your skin by dehydrating it, causing broken veins and a ruddy hue.

We do have plenty of that in our city and added to that is the high humidity. Result: skin problems like acne, rashes , itching , etc.

Free radicals
These are rogue elements running around in our bodies adhering to other atoms that are already attached to existing pairs or groups, thereby damaging a peaceful healthy existence and contributing to diseases like cancer and other ailments. The intake of anti-oxidants will help combat free radicals.


Pillowcase dress

By Nazia Farzin Shafiq

Hello and Good Morning from Pittsburgh! I hope you have had your first cup of tea or are may be sipping it now while reading this article and thinking: “Who is this and what is she going to talk about?”

Let me introduce myself. I am Nazia, a wife and mother to two precious girls. I did my BBA in Dhaka and am currently pursuing a M.Sc. in the US. More importantly, I am a stay-at-home mama and enjoy the beautiful life that God has presented me with.

My world totally changed after my babies were born, as expected. I discovered my creative self after making my older daughter's first birthday cake. I have since made hair accessories, decorations, paintings, embroideries, dresses and much more.

I choose to create with what I have and place meaning behind what I create. With my monthly “Do It Yourself Project”, I hope to awaken the creativity bug in you. The projects will be quick, fun, and guaranteed to impress!

Today, we will be making a pretty pillowcase dress. But there is a twist. You don't always need to cut up an existing pillowcase to do it. You can also do it with one yard of your favourite cotton fabric. Any little girl will love the freedom and comfort of this dress and it offers lots of opportunity for creativity.

Step 1: Sizing It Up
Because this dress is not very fitted, the measurements can be quite general. The width of pillowcases is standard. You will need to determine the length, though. Just get a measure of the length from the shoulder to the desired length on the leg of the girl. Add a few inches to allow for the hem. If you are making a dress for a baby or toddler, you can cut some of the width off the pillowcase to make it narrower.

Step 2: Shaping the Dress
This dress gets its shape by being secured at the top and open at the bottom, sort of like a drawstring bag. This is achieved by cutting armholes and then making a casement tube at the top to feed some ribbon through that will tighten the top and make ties. There are several ways to do this, but one of the easiest ways is to cut two J shapes from either side, finishing the edge and then folding over and sewing the top two edges. Then a section of ribbon can be fed through each casement and tied at the shoulders.

Step 3: Extras
You can add a few finishing touches. A wide border at the bottom of the dress looks great. Use a panel of complementary fabric or a wide lace to make a border. You could also add a row of buttons or some pretty appliqués to personalise the dress.

So dear readers, I wish you good luck with making your pillowcase dress. A lucky little girl is about to get cuter because of your creative touch!

For further questions, please feel free to email at lifestyleds@yahoo.com


Strokes of nature

Welcome to Catechu Makes Brown, an art exhibition that has kicked off on 4 May. The exhibition, which was inaugurated by the ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh, Dr. Urs Herren and his wife, Esther Megert Herren, is taking place at Bengal Art Lounge, located at 60 Gulshan Avenue. It is a joint effort of Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts and Aranya Crafts.

Ruby Ghuznavi has promoted and reincarnated the tradition of natural dyes through her organisation and also through numerous conferences and training sessions worldwide.

The use of natural dyes as colours is not a new one, in fact goes to time immemorial. But it did wane, synthetics and other chemicals substituting it. But these poor alternatives, although with a lot of commercial viability and used by big companies, have caused a lot of harm to our environment.

With the spirit and determination of Ruby, the concept has once again earned popularity, not just in our country but the export market as well. Aranya Crafts makes amazing fabrics, attires and other materials using natural colours.

This art exhibition follows the same idea. The one-of-a-kind exhibition houses 28 paintings by twenty-four artists, including Mohammad Kibria, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Rofiqun Nabi, Kalidas Karmakar, etc.

The paintings are made not by using conventional artificial colours, but by using natural dyes, extracted from natural sources such as minerals, bark of tress, etc.

And this adds an interesting twist. They look vastly different from an artwork done by using watercolours or oil. Using natural dyes as the tool means giving away the smoothness of fabricated paints; natural dyes contain particles, giving the finished work a whole different dimension.

The exhibition will last till 18 May. It is open every day from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Paintings are also for sale. Therefore, art patrons and nature lovers, flock to Bengal Art Lounge (Ground Floor, 60 Gulshan Avenue, near Gulshan-1 Circle, opposite to Uday Tower).

By M H Haider

Farzana Shakil's bridal package

On your wedding day, you deserve to look your best! From 01 June, 2012- 31 July, 2012 Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon Ltd offers a wide range of bridal packages for all tastes and budgets.

The bridal packages come with lots and lots of free services for brides, their friends and families like free pre-bridal services and free make up for accompanying persons.

Select the bridal package best suited to you. For additional information please contact 9116057 (Dhanmondi), 8812215 (Gulshan) or visit the salons.


START panting

Summer has announced its presence in the most sweltering of all manners. However, the fact that it's only May and the knowledge that June, July and August will just be increasingly warmer are notions that we can't get out of our heads.

After quite a winter, one glance at most closets says that we aren't really prepared. That hoodie that was so hot to wear just 5 months ago? Its utility has become a relic and its presence an eye-sore.

It's that time of the year when we give our entire wardrobes a makeover. But how do we go about it? Open your closet. If all you see are denims, then you have a problem. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Thankfully, t-shirts and shirts can be left alone, as they blend well with all seasons. Just make sure you have plenty of light colours such as light purples, blues, yellows, pinks cream and of course the elegant white. When in doubt, wearing black isn't a solution here because black attracts heat and mosquitoes and a mosquito-infested, sweaty man attracts no ladies. Check off your shirt/t-shirt list and we are on to the top-most agenda of the day -- pants.

Jeans, as durable and all-seasonal as they are, can also be the least heat-resistant. Anything in denim can be defined as jeans. And jeans, once again, are not the best way to beat the heat. So, what options do you have?

Plenty, to be completely honest. But the catch is you need to select the right one. For those who can argue that jeans torn here and there are plenty fashionable and allow enough air to pass through, it must be clarified that this isn't a matter of letting your skin breath or looking like a pauper; this is about not getting style-checked by every eye on the street.

The answer to all our problems lies in khakis. Khakis have always been the best choice for casual Fridays, mingling formal, semi-formal and casual to bring about this wonderful design. Although traditionally dust coloured or ivory, khakis have now expanded their palette to include a tinge of olive green, grey or navy and have been in style for as long as we can remember.

Now, when we say khaki, we don't mean Indian Policeman Khaki, but rather those loose, comfortable, three or four pocket versions we see in Gap commercials. Khakis are also not restricted to any stereotypes such as rockers or hip-hoppers. Even Tupac was a fan of khakis, so that goes to show the boundaries that khaki has crossed. Best of all, khakis can be worn with shoes, sandals or sneakers, as long as one doesn't go overboard with colours.

Khakis with a simple polo tee can just become the look of the summer.

For a more formal appearance, dress pants and chinos to an extent, can also serve the purpose. The question is: how do you separate chinos from khakis? Well, look at the narrow cut of the legs and maybe that'll give you a clue. Since chinos are basically cotton and synthetic fibre, they help cut the heat as much as possible. Speaking of cutting heat, it seems there are certain quarters hell-bent on making a style statement with corduroy pants. Sadly, this isn't 2008 and that was the last time corduroys came back in style. This just isn't the weather for them, so its back to the moth den for those until winter comes around, when that fad will be given a second shot.

For those who simply don't care about appearing formal and lead relaxed lives we envy, where all things are fashionable and no office rule is important enough, their most readily available solution are jogging pants or trousers. Cotton-made, loose, comfortable and can be worn when goofing off any time of the day. Unfortunately, those aren't in fashion. Fortunately, another completely casual wear has come back storming into the fashion scene. Here, we are speaking of three-quarters, also known as shants or jams.

Restricted to the skateboarding community for most of its existence, jams in vivid colours have taken urban areas by storm and they are just perfect for the weather. Available in chequered designs among various others in green, blue, white, yellow and many other colours, these seem just the perfect fit for the weather we have around. Also, they are terribly in, so why not?

Cat's Eye has an extensive collection of these jams in a wide array of colour and design. Priced between Tk.850-1100, these jams have gained sudden popularity like the Vans or Converse craze. They are also favourable winter wear, so there is no need to introduce them to the mothballs. Khakis, priced at Tk.1200 and above at Cat's Eye, are also worth the try.

With a reliable brand promising quality backing your purchase, disappointment isn't a cause for concern. However, if you wish to try them out for a while first, head over to Doja Market or College Gate and get a pair of original Dockers khakis for an absolute steal. With good bargaining skills, land those delicious pair of khakis for as low as Tk.500 a piece. Why are Dockers so cheap here? Well, it's manufactured here and has the slightest defect which is barely noticeable. But, if you have a tricky waist size then College Gate and the rest aren't the most viable options.

Now, you have enough information to go about in this heat.

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Shaon
Wardrobe and accessories: Cats Eye


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