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Boomer bonanza: 5 ways to stay in style on a fixed income

(BPT) – As American baby boomers begin to exit their careers and opt for more leisurely lifestyles, some 10,000 are expected to retire every day through 2029.

While many are scaling back their incomes in retirement, however, most have no intention of becoming out-of-touch with modern trends and innovations. Fortunately, keeping up-to-date and attuned to fashion doesn’t have to cost big bucks.

“We boomers have every bit as much to offer as the millennials or the Gen-X’s or the Gen-Y’s,” writes Forrest Brakeman in the Huffington Post. “Hell, we invented the world as they know it. But to bridge the generation gap, or chasm, we need to stay relevant.”

The following suggestions can help you stay current as you age, even when you’re dealing with a conservative budget.

* Shop secondhand. If you’ve never shopped in thrift and consignment stores, you may be surprised at the up-to-date clothes, shoes and accessories that are often available at very attractive price points. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the possibility of scoring big on recently released goods, some with the tags still attached. And forget about any stigma; you’ll be shopping among people of all ages, from all walks of life.

* Consider vision insurance. Now that eyewear is such a fashion statement, eyeglass styles tend to change fairly frequently. Fortunately, when investing in the comprehensive coverage offered by VSP Individual Vision Plans, you can regularly replace your glasses without dating yourself by wearing outdated frames. Regular eye exams are also covered at prices well below walk-in rates; the average VSP customer saves more than $200 annually on eye care expenses. And VSP offers the largest network of independent eye doctors in the nation.

* Scout out daily deals. Online coupon sources such as Groupon and LivingSocial frequently offer excellent bargains on personal services such as haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages and skin treatments so you can look relaxed and well-groomed — without breaking the bank.

* Rent for special occasions. These days, many high-end luxury products are available for short-term rental. Instead of paying full price for glamorous formalwear, jewelry or upscale sports cars, rent them out to enjoy to the max when you have a special event to attend — or when you simply want to treat yourself.

* Buy online. If you’re not already well-versed in online shopping, now is a good time to learn the ropes. Resist paying full retail in stores until you check sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay or Overstock to see if you can find your merchandise of choice at lower prices. Often, it’s ridiculously inexpensive (or free) to have such goods delivered straight to your doorstep, or to the doorstep of a loved one. You can also use tools like PriceGrabber to compare online prices on your behalf, then peruse the additional retailer coupons frequently available on sites such as RetailMeNot or Coupons.com.

In short, there’s no need to deny your sense of fashion just because you’re entering the so-called golden years. Form your strategy now for finding the best deals on the trending fashion that keeps life fun — and keeps you from falling into a style rut.

Classic cardigan? 5 tips for caring for your vintage wardrobe

(BPT) – As environmentally aware Americans join the movement to reduce, reuse and recycle, many are turning to the past to find unique, well-made vintage pieces to complement their wardrobes.

The hunt for great vintage wear has become so popular that we’re spending some $4 billion annually on such fun finds, reports the Huffington Post.

“For many it offers individuality, affordability, and that feel-good moment of rescuing an item from the landfill and reducing the environmental footprint,” writes Kate Black in that article. “This also makes it the retail unicorn, that rare occasion when a single store can appeal to stylish fashionistas, value-conscious consumers and passionate environmentalists.”

Building a distinctive, one-of-a-kind vintage wardrobe can be fun and easy once you learn a few guidelines for finding and caring for your collection. LG Electronics and luxury vintage clothing purveyor What Goes Around Comes Around recently partnered to bring the LG LaundROO Lounge and Vintage Clothing Swap to Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee. Festival-goers were invited to peruse 3,000 pieces of vintage gear and exchanged their own clothes for a new look. The swapped pieces were then washed in LG washers and dryers onsite and put back into the closet for another attendee to choose. If LG and What Goes Around Comes Around can handle the danced-in duds of 60,000 festival-goers, they can definitely help you take care of your vintage finds! Co-founder and chief creative officer at What Goes Around Comes Around, Gerard Maione, shares these tips to best maintain your vintage and hard-to-care-for pieces so you can keep festival style season going all year round:

1. Aim for versatility with fabrics such as cashmere and silk that can be easily layered to work well through every season. Look for well-cut pieces that can transition from day to night with simple shifts in accessories.

2. Choose quality over quantity. Whether you’re opting for vintage or new clothing, pieces featuring high-quality fabrics and construction will stand the test of time — as long as they’re well treated.

3. Read and carefully follow cleaning recommendations, ensuring that you’re using appropriately gentle wash cycle or steam options. Making that process easier than ever is the LG TWINWash washing machine with SideKick pedestal washer, dryer and LG Styler offered by LG Electronics, a package Maione calls “the ultimate laundry room.” Its ultra-convenient design features a front loader stacked onto a pull-out wash compartment, allowing you to simultaneously run one cycle for your heavier items and one for your specialty items such as delicate vintage pieces.

4. Narrow wire hangers can create wrinkles, bumps and bulges in aged, delicate fabrics. Instead, choose wider and/or padded hanger styles that better distribute the weight of each garment. Vintage fashionistas often prefer heavy-duty wooden hangers, while others swear by the velvet-covered varieties that keep silky fabrics from slipping off. For pants and skirts, seek out specially designed hangers that ward off unnecessary creases.

5. Care for your treasured vintage items between wearings by folding sweaters onto shelves or in drawers, storing handbags and shoes in dust bags, then freshening items up between cleanings. The LG Styler steam clothing care system makes it effortless, using chemical-free steam-based cycles that can handle anything from sanitizing and removing allergens to eliminating odors and reducing wrinkles.

Vintage clothing can be a unique, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient means to add flair to your wardrobe. Know how to care for your vintage pieces so you will continue to enjoy the past far into the future.

Maintaining a healthy pH balance ‘down there’: 3 common triggers for elevated vaginal pH and why it matters

(BPT) – Many women do not realize the vagina is an ecosystem that requires a balanced environment to remain healthy; and events like menstruation, sex, and hormonal changes can throw off that balance. The result can be odor and discomfort, according to Lauren Streicher, M.D., Medical Director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause and Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University. Many women never have the benefit of a frank, open discussion about vaginal health and the importance of maintaining a healthy pH balance “down there.” Healthy pH and beneficial lactobacillus are the keys to reducing the risk of vaginal issues. pH refers to the vagina’s acidity level. A vaginal pH of 3.5 – 4.5 indicates that the vagina is populated by good bacteria (lactobacilli) without overgrowth of the bad bacteria that can cause odor and irritation and an elevated pH means that the healthy flora of the vagina may struggle to survive, while harmful bacteria thrive.

Yet women experience many of the triggers for elevated pH on a regular basis:

1. Period – The pH of blood is 7.4, which is much more alkaline than normal vaginal pH (3.5 – 4.5) which can lead to elevated vaginal pH.

2. Sex – Semen has a pH of 7.1 to 8 and can increase vaginal pH.

3. Hormones – Pregnancy, menopause and your normal monthly cycle can cause hormone changes that alter vaginal pH.

As Dr. Streicher points out in her blog, When Your Vagina’s in a pHunk, to eliminate vaginal odor and relieve discomfort, women should know that often the cause is unbalanced vaginal pH. RepHresh Vaginal Gel, available without a prescription, is specifically designed to bond to the vaginal walls and provide long-lasting support to maintain healthy vaginal pH and eliminate odor.

By learning how to maintain a healthy pH, women can maintain vaginal health and help avoid any issues that could stem from elevated pH.

Additionally, RepHresh Pro-B contains the strains of probiotics that specifically designed to promote vaginal health to balance yeast and bacteria every day. Pro-B contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1™ and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14™, two clinically documented probiotic lactobacilli specifically optimized for vaginal health as opposed to a probiotic or yogurt that supports immunity or digestion.

Taking control of pH means taking control of the natural vaginal environment, putting an end to unpleasant odor, discomfort and itching.

5 sunny beauty trends for this summer

(BPT) – Summer is here, which means it’s finally time to part ways with your knit scarves and cute wool jackets — at least for the next few months. It’s the season to bathe in the sun and enjoy the warm weather.

Summer is all about having fun! Flip-flops, shorts, iced coffee and long nights sitting outdoors. At the same time, the heat, humidity and sun mean you’ll need to make a few changes to your beauty routine.

And who better to bring in summer beauty tips than one of the season’s most radiant recording artists, Leslie Grace?

Show off your eyes. Even if you have a dozen pairs of cute, stylish sunglasses that you’ve been dying to wear, show the world your eyes. For a fresh summer look, put away the eyeliner and embrace a subtler look that highlights your natural beauty. Use a sparkling cream shadow for eyelids and accent it with your favorite mascara.

Lead with your smile. A healthy, white smile is always in style, especially on those sun-soaked days! But drinks like iced coffee, rose wine and soda (and what’s a summer without these?) can stain your pearly whites. Leslie’s favorite product to use for her teeth is Colgate Optic White Stain-Less White Toothpaste, which helps remove those unwanted stains.

Keep your hair healthy. Let your hair down and show off your natural beauty! For those of you with naturally curly hair, like Leslie, get in the habit of pinning your hair up at night so it won’t get tangled or damaged!

Love the sun, but with caution. You’ll probably be working on your tan this summer. At the same time, take precautions to protect your skin for the long term. This includes moisturizing your skin, hands and lips — and always make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen!

The perfect makeup combo. The secret for getting the most out of your makeup this summer is to match the season. Don’t shy away from bold, vibrant colors. For instance, blue eye shadow and red lipstick complement the bright colors of summer. For that extra pop and to really make a statement on your nights out, try glittery makeup for a glowing look.

Whether you plan to lounge by a pool, dance on a rooftop or spend your summer in the sand, let these tips serve as a foundation to your summer style. Doing so will give you that natural shine that matches summer’s glow.

4 Traits to Look for When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

(BPT) – Planning a wedding is no small task. In order to enjoy the process (and stay sane), it’s important to recognize early on which details can be decided quickly, and which ones deserve more time and care.

When it comes to wedding photos, you can’t go wrong with a little extra time and thought, because there’s no such thing as a do-over. Choosing the right person for the job makes all the difference in getting that collection of photos you’ll treasure forever.

When your special day rolls around, a professional photographer will have the skill and artistry in capturing those beautiful candid moments as well as the more formal portraits. Here are some traits to look for during your search that signal you’re in good hands.

1. A portfolio you love. Your venue may have a list of “preferred professionals” to choose from, but don’t feel obligated to stick with their list. Feel free to explore your options, and browse local guides and websites for the ones that have strong portfolios that speak to you. As you look, pay attention to mood, style and facial expressions. Skilled and experienced photographers should have a strong and varied wedding day collection.

2. They help you think through the day. A good listener who takes a genuine interest in your plans — and makes sure you feel elated with their work — is always a good sign. Things like venue, lighting, time of day, the number of people you want to capture, number of settings and the itinerary are just a few factors they need to consider to plan and organize the shoot. If you’re not sure about something, ask their opinion. A professional will give you an honest assessment along with lots of suggestions so you enjoy your special day and capture those priceless images.

3. Something just clicks. And it’s not just the shutter. Bad puns aside, keep in mind you’re going to be spending the day with your photographer. In fact, you could very well be spending more time with the photographer than anyone else — even with your beloved. Don’t skip the in-person, face-to-face meeting when planning your special day. You want to be sure this is someone who makes you both feel open and relaxed, so trust your gut feeling.

4. They’re the complete package. A professional will complete the time-consuming (and sometimes overwhelming) task of sorting through hundreds of shots for you and put their skills to work in editing the images. What you should get is a collection of hand-picked images, all perfectly edited, cropped and toned, so they capture the best moments and emotions of the day.

The one bearing the camera has a great responsibility: They are recording the first pages of history for your new family. To make sure you find the one that has the experience and the flair the day calls for, a professional photographer is always the right call. Start your search with the Professional Photographers of America by visiting FindAPhotographer.com/WeddingPhotos.