~ America's favorite colors ~

The release below details a newly launched study that reveals the favorite colors of specific U.S. states and bigger cities based on home decor purchases.


Some surprising results: 

• Strong regional differences

• Dismal ranking of red – wiped off the map

• High ranking of neutral colors: black, gray, white

• Popularity of pink: top in five major cities  

• Warm colors left in the cold by cool & neutral ones

Blue states wipe Red off the map in study revealing America’s Favorite Colors 

Spoonflower.com reveals top color in each state 

America’s true colors are not red, white and blue, after all, but blue, black and gray, according to a new study ranking the U.S.’s favorite colors based on home décor purchases. 

There are also strong regional differences in color preferences, reveals the study conducted by Spoonflower- www.spoonflower.com - which allows customers to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. California and the West buy black décor most; the South likes gray; the rest of America prefers blue. 

A few results:

The top six colors nationally are blue, black, gray, pink, white and green. 

The study’s surprise findings for color experts include: the dismal ranking of red, in just seventh place; the high ranking of neutral colors, with black, gray and white all in the national top five; and the popularity of pink, which ranks fourth national ly and is the most bought color in no less than five major U.S. cities. 

The study reveals the most popular color in every state and 74 U.S. cities, based on data from nearly 200,000 purchases on Spoonflower over two years.  Blue is the top color in 41 states and just over half the cities, while red ranks top in none of either. 

“Blue states have wiped red off the map”, says Allison Polish, President of Spoonflower. 

Black, however, ranks top in a block of five neighboring Western states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming), while gray does so in a swathe of three adjacent Southern states (Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma), plus North Dakota.

“The popularity of blue doesn’t surprise me”, says Ethel Rompilla, professor of color theory at New York School of Interior Design, and author, with Stefan Steil, of a new online course, on Color for Interiors. “The reason for the universal popularity of blue, say color theorists, is likely the connect ion to sky and sea. There's nothing more uplifting than a clear blue sky on a sunny day.” 

What does surprise Rompilla is both the low ranking of red and the high ranking of so many neutral colors, like black, gray and white. “The latter may be because as color becomes more popular, the relief of neutrals is more needed.”  

The traditional favorites of her own students, in informal surveys Rompilla has conducted over the years, have been blue, closely followed by red and green. “But more recently red and green have given way to other colors.” 

Rompilla, however, is less surprised that gray is most popular in the South and black in the West. “My guess is that it may relate to the architecture, furniture and interiors, which are generally more traditional – hence graceful – in the South, while in the West homes can be more contemporary. In the latter case, the geometric scale and lack of decorative details may better support the boldness of black.”  

California is the largest “black décor” state, while both Los Angeles, its largest city, and Sacramento, its capital, are both black décor towns. 

San Francisco and Oakland, however, are both blue décor towns, as are New York, Washington DC, Miami, Houston and Dallas, among just over half (55%) of major U.S. cities – 41 of 74 in Spoonflower’s study. 18 cities (13%) buy black décor most; seven (5%), including Chicago and Boston, buy gray most, while pink ranks top in five (4%) cities – Detroit, El Paso, Indianapolis, Long Beach, Phoenix. 

Who knew? “I’ve always found pink to be controversial,” says Ethel Rompilla, surprised that pink ranks as high as fourth nationally. “People either love it or hate it. Although times are changing, it still is perceived as a feminine color.” 

White ranks top in two cities and green in one (Charleston). 

None, however, of the three main “warm colors” – red, yellow, orange – rank top in either a single state or city, or among Spoonflower’s top six colors nationally. They come instead a lowly seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the national rankings and account between them for barely 8.5% of Spoonflower purchases.  

“Not only have blue states wiped red ones off the map” says Allison Polish, “but cool (blue, green) and neutral (black, gray, white) colors have left warm ones in the cold.”  

Spoonflower’s map of America’s true colors + the top color in every state 

METHODOLOGY: Spoonflower crunched the data from nearly 200,000 purchases of custom fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap by its customers over a two-year period and organized them under 15 color categories. It then weighted the scores by first identifying the number of customers buying a particular color in any given state or city and then dividing that number by the total number of Spoonflower customers in that state or city. That gave a bet ter measure of the popularity for each color in any city or state and so identified the most popular/most purchased color in each state and city. 

ABOUT SPOONFLOWER: Spoonflower (www.spoonflower.com) lets users design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. Founded in 2008, it was the world's first web-based service for custom fabric creation and has become the world’s largest community of independent fabric designers. With over 350,000 designs for fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap, and more added every day, the Spoonflower Marketplace is also the world’s largest design collection of its kind. Making things with Spoonflower is the subject of a new title from Abrams Books, The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap with 30+ Projects. For more information visitwww.Spoonflower.com/welcome

~ Secret to gorgeous hair ~

Warmer weather is just around the corner, and there's no better time to upgrade your look with a fuller, shinier head of hair. Instead of getting hair extensions (which are expensive, can break your hair and permanently damage your scalp), try the Kardashian approved secret to gorgeous hair:

HAIRFINITY® is a supplement formulated to nourish the hair from the INSIDE out to promote longer, thicker and more vibrant hair

A true innovation in hair care, HAIRFINITY®'s exclusive CAPILSANA™ COMPLEX delivers a unique blend of Hydrolyzed Collagen, MSM, and Silica that provide 18 Amino Acids that build the essential protein for hair strength, hair elasticity and a healthy scalp.

Clinical studies have shown HAIRFINITY® is proven to increase the hair growth rate and reduce the average numbers of hairs shed in a 30-day period – helping you grow luscious locks just in time for Spring.

Created by Brock Beauty, HAIRFINITY® is a clinically proven dietary supplement that utilizes Biotin and vitamins to promote healthy hair growth and prevent breakage and hair loss. HAIRFINITY® Hair Vitamins are formulated with hair specific nutrients to nourish your hair from the INSIDE OUT and promote faster growing, longer, thicker, stronger hair, and more vibrant hair. Its EXCLUSIVE CAPILSANA™ COMPLEX delivers a unique cocktail blend of Hydrolyzed Collagen, MSM, and Silica that provide 18 Amino Acids to build the essential proteins for hair strength. Celebrity fans include Kim KardashianKhloe KardashianNicki Minaj, Taraji P. Henson and more.

~ The next big beauty comeback - Hair gels ~

I know, I know, I thought the same exact thing. Hair gels? Really?

Truth be told you probably have steered clear from this category of hair products to avoid the hard headed slicked back look that was once considered cool back in the 90s. But in actuality, today’s hair gels are far more advanced than the sticky blue goop found your typical bottle of LA Looks. 

I recently had a blowout done with celebrity stylist Richard Collins (clients include Demi Lovato, Brie Larson, Selena Gomez, etc.) to test out the new products from Schwarzkopf ULTIME, including their new styliste Amino-Q Hold Gel ($8, drugstores nationwide). I wasn’t too thrilled about having hair gel used on my already flat, straight hair—but Richard explained that today’s hair gels are VERY much different and are actually quite amazing at making your style last longer. Low and behold, after my blowout my lifeless hair was bouncy and voluminous—and it STAYED, all day long. No gross build up or stickiness commonly associated with gels, just a seriously awesome hold.

The Effects of Hair Gels and other Styling Aids

o   Fat-containing products such as waxes or pomade work well if you want great shine and a soft sleek look
o   Alcohol-containing products such as gel or styling crème provide rigidity and volume
o   Gel waxes are mixed products as the name indicates. They support a well-defined hair structure and provide light hold and a trace of shine

Tips for Using Hair Gel

o   Take it easy when using hair tamers out of tubes and little tubs; less is more is the motto. You can always add more, but once you have added too much, all you can expect is beach style hair or an oil crisis and the only remaining workable option is shampooing your hair.

o   Not all hair gels and waxes are created equal. Therefore, you will have no choice but to experiment a little to find the styling product that was made for your hair. Some gels create a wet look while the use of others may quickly give your hair the porcupine look. Gels can make your hair shine or create a matte appearance. Reading the information on the package helps. The package information also tells you whether the product provides light or strong hold.

o   When using any styling aid remember to start out by rubbing a very small amount of it between your fingers and working it into your hair beginning at the lower hair portion near the roots. Only then should you use the product to style individual strands of hair on top of your head.

o    In case you want to create a very smooth and straight look, part your hair and comb it all back. Distribute a little wax in the palms of your hands before softly stroking over your hair several times.

~ Fake Bake ~

Promising to start the new year in the gym is so last year! You can look leaner in an instant with Fake Bake. The beautiful glow will highlight all of your greatest assets to keep you looking lean, slim and trim. Its time to say goodbye to dull skin left over from the winter. 

Fake Bake is a favorite among celebrities like Ruby Rose and Demi Lovato. Women around the world count on the Airbrush Instant Self-Tan, Bamboo Buffing Face Polish and The Face Anti-Aging Self Tan lotion. You will look healthier and younger, from head to toe. Fake Bake selects only the finest ingredients to help nourish your skin while adding a beautiful color that awakens and enlightens. 

FAKE BAKE AIRBRUSH INSTANT SELF-TAN will help you achieve a flawless golden hue that will go on easy. The 360° nozzle allows for a steady stream of spray that works from any angle. You can reach all of those hard-to-reach areas for a natural-looking hue that will have everyone wondering if you spent the winter on a tropical island. 

BAMBOO BUFFING FACE POLISH is PERFECT for this time of year. Get rid of winter's harsh remnants and remove all of those dead skin cells that leave skin looking dull. The bamboo powder is a gentle exfoliant that can be part of a daily beauty routine.The face polish also contains sunflower seed, avocado oil, ginger root and chamomile extract to tone, calm, soothe and hydrate. This will keep skin supple and clear to absorb the beneficial DHA and Erythrulose from Fake Bake tanners. 

FAKE BAKE THE FACE SELF-TAN LOTION is a compilation of the most premium skin-loving botanicals. This lotion provides optimal nutrition for your face, especially when used after Bamboo Buffing Face Polish. You can re-apply every single day for a gradual, subtle color. Matrixyl-3000 from Sederma ® reverses the aging process and reduces wrinkles. 

Fans of Fake Bake include Ruby Rose, Olivia Culpo, Demi Lovato, Rumer Willis, Josh Henderson, Amy Smart, Anne Heche, Melissa Rycroft, Whitney Carson and Karina Smirnoff. Fake Bake products have been used by the stars at Hollywood events to get them red carpet-ready. The brand has been featured at celebrity ceremonies like the EMMYS, Teen Choice Awards, and the BELLA New York White Party in The Hamptons honoring cover woman and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump. 

Fake Bake can be found at Ulta Beauty, Bed Bath and Beyond and online at www.fakebake.com.

~ 10 Ways stress is written all over your face ~

According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez Psy. D, Neuropsychologist, Colombia University Professor and Founder of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services in New York City; stress is written all over our face and can result in looking years older when stressed for prolonged periods of time.

Dr. Hafeez whose expertise is in understanding neural pathways as they respond to anxiety, stress and trauma explains that how we think directly impacts how we age and how youthful we appear. The routine stressors in our lives really impact how fast or slow we age. When stressed, we see it in our skin tone, texture, elasticity, and over all glow.

“When someone is under stress they can appear up to 5 years older, 10 years if they don’t manage stress or make changes to their lives. Stressful relationships and careers age people. I have seen patients end relationships or get new jobs and look 10 years younger within days.  People are spending money on creams, facials and cosmetic procedures but if the stress is still there it will still show in their face,” offers Dr. Hafeez. 

Here are Ways Stress is Written All Over Your Face

1. You have dark circles. Stress results in blood flow to main organs plus capillaries under eyes are fragile and break under stress leaving your face looking sallow and tired. Dark circles seem more apparent.

2. Mini-Menopause
The jury is still out on exactly how or if this is possible, but it appears that the constant flow of cortisol that goes along with chronic stress causes a dip in estrogen, one that mimics, on a smaller scale, the dip that occurs during menopause. Less estrogen means less collagen and less moisture. So, while estrogen levels may not drop enough to shut down your period, stress may make them dip enough to make your skin look dull and dry.

3. You notice more wrinkles. Life’s stress due to divorce, death of loved one, job-loss, financial concerns; impacts our brain chemistry. When we feel sad or anxious, are crying or not sleeping well it’s common to see deeper lines around the middle of the eyes, forehead, under eye area and mouth.

4. You itch, flake and even have hives.  Stress leads to inflammation which may lead to rashes, rosacea, eczema flare ups and changes in skin moisture.

5. People ask if you’re feeling okay.  When the Starbucks barista or guy at the dry cleaners asks if you’re feeling okay, pay attention. These people may not know the details of your life but they know how you look because they see you quickly.

6. Under-Eye Bags: Tomorrow's to-do list can weigh on your mind, keeping you from getting enough beauty sleep. This can cause fluid to pool below your lower eyelid area, and what you end up with is a puffy mess in the a.m. Stomach sleepers, bad news: You can expect the puffiness of your under-eye bags to be even worse because of gravity.

7. Increased jaw size – Heavy jaw
Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth, but also a heavier than usual jawline, as the muscles become larger with the grinding action.

8.Hair Loss
Stress can cause sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. Once the follicle enters this resting phase prematurely, it stays there for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. When you experience an overall shedding of hair, you must cast back a few months to find the trigger. Rest assured that in most women, this hair will grow back.

9. Adult Acne
Acne isn’t just for hormonally crazed teenagers. Many adults can’t seem to outgrow it because of stress hormones. What makes it worse is that tense people often can’t leave pimples alone. Squeezing, poking and picking at them becomes an almost obsessive way to release tension, but it also makes breakouts worse, exacerbating the inflammatory response, and you’re left feeling a bit more stressed. So no picking

10. Hormonal Mood Swings
There is a lot of interaction between hormone physiology and mood that works both ways. Our mood can impact our physiology, and our physiology can influence the balance of our hormones. If stress can sit at the top of a cascade of events that lead to undesirable hormonal changes in the body (like those that trigger insomnia, insatiable hunger and weight gain, and collagen breakdown), then what we want to do is find ways to gain the upper hand on our stress level and ensure that we keep all those hormones in check.

According to Dr. Hafeez, “The good news is that we can get to the root cause of our stress and manage it. When you notice changes in your facial appearance take inventory of what is going on in your life and what may be stressing you out. Simple things like sitting quietly for 10 minutes focusing on breathing, writing in a journal, exercising or taking a walk outside, reading, baking, painting, listening to music and reaching for an activity that takes focus off the stress is helpful. If you find yourself reverting back to the stressful issue consider therapy. Clearly there is a connection between how we look and how we feel and think.”

About Dr. Sanam Hafeez: 
Dr. Hafeez  is available to speak to media on a plethora of topics that connect stress, anxiety and depression and its negative impact on our wellbeing and physical appearance. She provides neuropsychological educational and developmental evaluations in her practice.  She also works with children and adults who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert and expert witness by providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts.
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