The US Influence on the International Beauty Industry

Many women eagerly open the newest edition of a fashion or beauty magazine and read up on all the latest style tips and tricks. What’s in and what’s out is dictated on those glossy pages. From Milan, Paris, London and New York fashion trends and movements are detailed. Women want to know every product, color or style that is popular. However, there is one distinct missing component.

Usability

In the fashion and beauty industry there are a great many products and choices available. And if the average consumer is Caucasian those choices can be overwhelming. Women of different skin tones have a different struggle when choosing beauty products. They are often relegated to the same palette of colors in the same tones year after year because it is assumed their skin is not as versatile as Caucasian skin and can carry off only a limited color or style range.

This is untrue. Look at Asian skin. There is a huge difference between Japanese skin and Filipino skin. There is a great difference between Korean skin and Cambodian skin. And within each of these categories lie a greater variety of skin tones all waiting for the colors that bring out their natural radiance and their own unique beauty. Even face and eye shapes differ within Asian regions.

With so much of the focus on beauty and style trends that come from Europe and America it’s not hard to see why Asian skin can be overlooked. In general there is not a predominance of Asian people in those areas and the need is not fully realized.

It seems that pale skin is still the ideal skin color. That thought is perpetuated, often unknowingly through beauty trends, and women with different skin tones may go to great lengths to achieve that perfect alabaster skin tone. The problem is they don’t look natural with skin that color. The skin color that does look good on them often goes unnoticed by designers or by the women themselves.

Things Are Changing

Here’s the most exciting part. The United States, over the past decade or so, has begun to recognize all skin tones and their intrinsic beauty. And even better, American companies and fashion icons and style magazines are starting to focus more on them. There are more diverse models and fashion icons than ever before and it’s not unusual to open any beauty or style magazine and see a variety of skin tones.

This is wonderful because the United States is opening the door for women to experiment with their natural skin tones and really enhance the beauty they already have. For some women it’s an option they may have never considered before, preferring to cover up their golden skin with peach or pink foundation because that was the only choice offered or because they desired to look like a highly publicized person.

America is really bringing the value of different skin tones to the public and sharing the beauty that was there all along but never really maximized. As these publications, blogs, products and ideas reach out many women will see beauty in a whole new way. Not only are color palettes changing but formulas are changing to provide better products for skin that is prone to premature aging or wrinkles, skin that is very smooth with few or no pores, skin that is high in melanin or skin that is extremely oily. Each skin tone has a unique trait that companies are focusing on and developing products specific to that trait.

While the US influence on international beauty trends may have been narrow in the past, it’s only getting better for the future. For instance, Sheer Aqua, a leading mineral cosmetics and skin care company dedicated to developing products that focus on women of color, is opening their first store in China to better serve the Asian clientele they are specializing in. As companies like Sheer Aqua grow, the result is more specialized products available directly to specific cultures. Women everywhere are starting to embrace their skin now that it’s becoming easier to find suitable products, colors and style techniques.

Lose Weight by Eating Like the Asians Or the French

The farmers in our country produce enough food for every man, woman, and child to eat 3,800 calories per day.

That is about twice the number of calories that the average person should consume to stay healthy!

Along with the massive number of available food choices and the ability to “super size” just about any meal, it’s a wonder that we Americans still manage to fit into our clothes (actually, many of us don’t because we are morbidly obese).

As Americans we face the problem of overabundance. Not only do farmers overproduce food for this country, but our current lifestyle and culture push people toward being overweight. In this country, eating out is perceived as both a social pleasure and a sensual reward. Americans work hard and play hard, and we reward ourselves by overeating. It’s not considered rude to overeat. How many of us had grandmothers who kept trying to feed us more and more food? In this country, food is love — the more food, the more love.

The Asian and French Difference

In contrast, in Asian and French cultures, good cuisine isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. Have you ever been to a Japanese restaurant and been served a beautifully-arranged plate of food? The focus is on presentation, and the food that is served is almost always pleasing to the eye. Whereas Americans delight in a plate overflowing with steak and potatoes, Asian and French chefs offer dishes with a lot of “white space.”

In addition, in these cultures children are often taught to eat only to 70% of capacity because it is considered rude to overeat (and loosening your belt after a heavy meal is definitely not acceptable social behavior).

The Asian Focus on Live Foods

Finally, the Asian culture has a much stronger focus on “live” foods than the American culture. Asians consume a great deal of marine algae and seaweed, as well as enzymatically live foods, such as fermented soy products. Studies show that blue-green algae, for instance, keeps people slim because it possesses a great deal of fiber, helps cells detoxify, and best of all, keeps people in a good mood (which prevents emotional eating).

If you want to lose weight, consider viewing food from the viewpoint of the Asians or the French: feast your eyes on food, not your mouth. Focus on foods that are beautifully presented in modest quantities, rather than large heaping piles of food that will last but an instant on your lips, but an eternity on your hips!

Asian Interior Design Tips For Decorating Your Home

Asian interior design is a stylish and classy way to decorate your home. There are many ways to use this design influence in your space. Some people, however, are a little lost when it comes to using Asian design in their own home. Here are a few ideas to help you begin.

Using Japanese influence in your Asian decorating theme is a popular choice. There are many different ways to use this style. Japanese Shoji screens are one of the most popular choices. These are wooden frames with a lattice design. The cutouts are filled with rice paper. Some shoji screens are plain and some have beautiful designs. These screens can be used as a room divider or simply as decoration. Another thing to add to your Japanese inspired room is the Kotatsu table. This is a rectangular table in a dark finish with clean lines. Many have heaters in the middle, and are considered in Japan to be the emotional center of a home.

Woven straw mats with colored borders are popular floor coverings in Asian interiors. These mats are called goza mats. In Japan, these mats are used for walking, sitting, and sleeping. They have two separate layers. One is the straw center and the other is the soft reed outer edge covered in cloth. These floor and bench coverings will add an authentic touch to your Asian style room.

Another classic element of Asian interior design is the gong. There are several different types of gongs, and the one you choose may have much to do with the size of your space. Some gongs are very large, so your room needs to be large to accommodate them. A more manageable size would be a hanging gong. These are usually 12 inches or so and come with a mallet to ring the gong. You can find ones with a beautiful scroll design to accent your Asian decor. You can also purchase a classic gong that hangs on your wall as an art piece. These are lovely and help to tie an Asian inspired space together.

Using Japanese and Chinese calligraphy is a classic and elegant way to decorate your walls for an Asian decorating theme. You can purchase these works of art already framed or just the print. If you buy just the print, it is usually most striking to frame them in black. Look for simple frames with clean lines. This will help enhance the Asian style.

As you can see, there are many ways to use Asian interior design in your own home. There are a plethora of websites and retailers that specialize in Asian interior design. You can find the materials and products that you need to create your perfect Asian inspired space with relative ease.