Women

The life of the party

Putting on a happy face may convince others that you're okay, but it could be damaging your psyche.

Fake it work: "I must admit I'm not a fan of the 'laugh every day as often as you can' perspective," says psychologist Sarah Edelman. "I think this concept is pretty meaningless, as most people can't just make themselves laugh (and those that try just sound phoney). This is in contrast to people who really do have a sense of humor and laugh spontaneously but they don't need to be told to do it." Instead she advocates not taking oneself too seriously, as a precursor to genuine glee. "Genuine laughter is a response to a happy emotional state, and in my view the emotion needs to be there first."

'laugh every day as often as you can'

'laugh every day as often as you can'

Blonde moments you can blame on your hair

A US woman's recent court battle against a hair color manufacturer after she suffered third degree bums from using their blending product, has brought the perils of bleaching into sharp focus. To lighten hair, you need a potent mix of chemicals, usually including hydrogen peroxide (if you've ever got this on your scalp, you'll know that the stinging tingle could well be a stand-in for water torture). Even mild rinse colors come with warnings to perform a patch test prior to use, due to the potential for allergic reactions. Then there's the risk of having your hair break off, burnt like a fern in the sun

Fake it work: "Always conduct a patch test before dying your hair," says Carley Canham, senior stylist at HACQ. "Your scalp should never be damaged when using hair dye, as long as you, or your colorist applies it correctly." If you do feel stinging or burning, or have trouble breathing, "remove immediately".

Being a skinny Minnie

It's party night and you still can't fit into your favorite LBD. Should you spring for an extreme, instant fix?

Fake it work: "You can easily lose weight in a short period of time, without it damaging your health," says personal trainer Chris Van Hoot of chisel-fitness.com.au. "It's about maintaining a sensible approach. Cut out wheat, white carbs and salt at least a few days before, and drink at least two liters of water a day. The night before your big party, eat a light meal, of salmon and vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli, as they are diuretics." At least a couple of days before, step up your exercise routine with stair work, boxing, interval training or anything that works up a sweat, Van Hoof says. On the day, hit the floor for some push-ups to get immediate (if temporary) arm definition."

"You can easily lose weight in a short period of time, without it damaging your health," says personal trainer Chris Van Hoot

Zit-free skin

It may be tempting but don't squeeze your spots; you'll only create scars

Fake it work: In her book Amazing Face, Zoe Foster says: "Apply pimple cream to clean skin, such as a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid topical cream. Then apply your moisturizer. Don't be fooled into thinking pimples should remain un-moisturized so they can dry out." If you need to show your face in public, "gently apply a medicated concealer/blemish stick with a concealer brush. A touch of powder on top will set it".

The best Big 0

Thanks to Sally showing Harry how easy it is to faux the 0, women are at the mercy of suspicion. Granted, some 80 per cent of us imitate the art, according to research by Leeds University. And with a study at Deakin University, finding that around half of Australian women are dissatisfied with their sex lives, maybe we ought to hone the theatrics. Or should we?

And with a study at Deakin University, finding that around half of Australian women are dissatisfied with their sex lives, maybe we ought to hone the theatrics.

And with a study at Deakin University, finding that around half of Australian women are dissatisfied with their sex lives, maybe we ought to hone the theatrics.

Fake it work: Cliche, yes, but a woman really does have to be in the right 'mood' for sex. "Women want to feel a romantic aspect to lovemaking, as their hearts need to be engaged as well as their bodies," says Dr. Vivienne Cass, author of The Elusive Orgasm. "It doesn't take much to set a romantic scene: a shared bath, candlelit dinner, or even just lying side by side talking can create an intimate environment, before you even touch each other.

"When you do feel amorous, think positive thoughts while being touched and touching each other gently. If you're being touched, and your mind is focused on pain, tiredness or resentment, stop and discuss this with your partner." Even cuddling can be a step towards regaining a healthy sex life, as you release feel good chemicals to your brain.

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