Natural and Synthetic Gemstones: Similarities, Differences, and Popularity

Before we start, let’s debunk one common misconception about gemstones: Yes, synthetic gemstones can be as authentic as natural gemstones.

Following industry standards, a “real” gemstone doesn’t depend on whether it was made naturally or synthetically. Lab-created gemstones can be classified as “real” as long as they contain the same mineral makeup as natural stones.

To help you with your buying decisions, we’ll educate you on both natural and synthetic gemstones.

Commonly found synthetic gemstones

Synthetic or lab-created gemstones are named as such because they’re produced in laboratories. These labs use advanced techniques to recreate the time, temperature, pressure, and other elements to create different kinds of gemstones.

Here are commonly sold synthetic gemstones:

  • Pearls – Commonly known as cultured pearls, these are made by feeding a foreign substance into an oyster, with the sole purpose of getting it to form a pearl. It’s estimated that up to 99 percent of pearls on the market are cultured.
  • Rubies and sapphires – Lab-created rubies and sapphires have fewer inclusions than their naturally-occurring counterparts. In mineralogy, inclusions are materials that get trapped inside a mineral during its formation.
  • Diamonds – Lab-grown diamonds sparkle the same and have the same color and clarity as natural diamonds. The only difference is that natural diamonds contain nitrogen, while synthetic diamonds don’t.

How to tell if your gemstone is synthetic or natural?

If both synthetic and natural gemstones share the same mineral makeup, then how can you differentiate them?

You can differentiate natural from synthetic by checking its clarity. Most of the time, synthetic gemstones offer better clarity — they’re likely to be more vivid and richer in color. Also, they’re virtually blemish- or inclusion-free when you look at them. This is because they can be controlled during the production process. Natural gemstones often undergo other processes like heat treatment to bring out their natural color and to remove inclusions.

Popularity and value

Jewelry in box

According to a Future Market Insights report, more than 85 percent of gemstones sold in the market are synthetic. The study said that the versatile physical attributes and the relatively lower price point of lab-made stones would continue to position them as the preferred choice over natural stones. Gemstones like sapphires and rubies can be produced less expensively, making them less expensive for consumers.

Despite that, there are still many clients who prefer natural stones because of their rarity. For example, diamonds. They’re among the hardest materials on earth. They’re formed from millions of years of geological pressure and are extracted from deep mines in the earth. This labor-intensive process, along with tight industry manipulation and marketing, leads to a perception of rarity, that drives their prices.

Are synthetic stones inferior?

While synthetic gemstones are less expensive than natural stones, this doesn’t mean they are of low quality. Again, lab-made stones can be classified as “real” as long as they possess the same mineral makeup as natural stones.

If you’re thinking you’re not going to get your money’s worth if you buy lab-made gemstones, you’re wrong. They can be as authentic as natural gemstones, but only less expensive.

winter outfit

Fashion Guide: Stylishly Dressing for Winter

When the weather starts to get snow outside, you need to wear more clothes. The weather may be gloomy, but that does not mean that your outfit should be, as well. It can be a bit difficult to stay trendy when it is cold outside. The good news is that you do not have to compromise style for comfort.

You can be fashionable and stay toasty by keeping these suggestions in mind:

Check the Weather Forecast

Before you step out the front door, you should check the weather. While we know the weather will be cold, you should know exactly how cold it would be for the day. You do not want to lug around an umbrella, scarves, gloves, coat, or any other accessories when you might not even use them. If you know what the weather for the day will be, you will know what you have to bring and dress appropriately.

Wear Pointed-Toe Shoes

When you wear winter clothes, they can often weigh you down, which can make you look shorter. Plus, warm coats and sweaters tend to cover up most of your torso. You can make yourself look taller by wearing pointed-toe shoes. It is a versatile and stylish way to appear taller. We recommend that you get pointed toe boots for the winter. Not only do they go with most outfits, but they are suitable for the weather, as well.

Pick a Color Scheme

It would be best if you picked a color scheme when you build a winter wardrobe. When it doubt, black, camel, and white will always stay fashionable during the winter. Make sure you choose the colors that suit you. Soft white might make you look gorgeous, whereas a harsher white could make you look dull. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand out. You could pick a statement piece like a bright pink coat to go with an all-black outfit.

girl shopping for winter outfits

Layers Are Your Friend

The best way to stay warm and fashionable is to utilize layers. Layering your clothes is a great way to experiment with fashion. It lets you choose multiple colors and textures to make a full outfit. The trick to layers is to use lighter clothes to avoid being too warm. For instance, you could wear warm leggings or jeans with an undershirt like a tank top and wear a cashmere pullover hoodie over it, then top it off with a coat, a pair of knee-high boots and a few accessories.

Get Clothes Tailored

You do not have to throw out your entire fall or winter wardrobe because the clothes do not fit you well. You can have many clothes altered or tailored to suit your body type. For instance, merely fixing the hemline of a skirt can instantly make it perfect for you. It would be best if you also tried to clean up your sweaters. Sweaters can look a bit disheveled over time, so you can use a needle or tweezers to pull any loose threads or pulls back into the sweater. You could invest in a sweater shaver to do this quickly.

You don’t have to forgo your love of fashion because it is cold outside. By following these suggestions, you can stay stylish when it starts to get chilly.

Orgami paper cranes

How Origami Helps in Mental Development

Origami is one of the oldest forms of papercrafting, dating well beyond any of our smartphones and current technologies. While each region around the world has come up with their own versions, it is the Japanese art of paper folding that continues to hold sway over most folders today.

However, studies have shown that this art can produce more than just aesthetic results. If applied properly in an education and development setting, it can help develop one of the most crucial parts of how people view and interact with the world: spatial thinking or reasoning.

Welcome to the world

Spatial ability is broadly defined as a type of intelligence that allows us to see a two or three-dimensional image and then mentally manipulate it. The video game Tetris is one of the classic examples of spatial reasoning—using a two-dimensional shape (the blocks), players must figure out how they can rotate and move the piece to fit with the pile (and achieve the Tetris) without making mistakes along the way.

This type of intelligence is often developed quite early in the stage of human life, as babies learn to orient themselves to their surroundings and explore the objects in their environment. Further activities growing up such as sports can help enhance this type of intelligence, allowing the growth of a well-rounded individual.

Why is it so important?

Spatial reasoning is crucial for many of the unconscious tasks that we do in our daily lives. For example, finding our way around a building we don’t know from basing our location on a map requires spatial reasoning or if you happen to be packing something and need to choose the proper container for it without having a need to package the item to be sure.

Spatial reasoning is also critical to many fields of study that make our world work the way it is. Mathematics, engineering, economics, and architecture use some form of spatial reasoning, as individuals in these fields would often need to mentally construct some form of the project they’re working on, and build a concrete form of this mental image.

How does origami specifically help?

Woman writing on paper

The process of doing origami—in particular, the need to understand the processes that should be followed in order to fold the figure into shape—is an effective way of understanding and developing spatial reasoning. While the object of the exercise can be held and manipulated, a degree of spatial reasoning is required to accurately implement the steps needed to proceed to the next part of the folding process.

This training is even more effective if the person is encouraged to free fold: an origami exercise that doesn’t follow pre-established folding patterns. This type of exercise not only encourages the use and development of spatial reasoning but also trains deductive skills and creative thinking. As any final origami figure requires a mental projection of the folded product and the steps to get there, it’s an excellent way to practice spatial reasoning.

The best thing about origami is that it’s relatively simple to use to develop spatial reasoning. It’s accessible to almost all people and the tools required cost very little. Given all of these factors, it’s not far to see that origami should be used as a viable education tool for developing soft skills or other types of intelligence.

Woman choosing dress

Stay Fashionably Lowkey with these Style Hacks

Even fab fashion girls can have lazy days.

It could be because of an extra long workweek or just the cold, cozy weather, but some days, you simply want to stay curled up in bed.

As such as turning into a blanket burrito seems like the best idea on days like these, most of the time, the only choice is to dress up and show up. I mean, that report has to be presented, the groceries need to be done, and your little sister has to be picked up from school, right?

If you have absolutely zero energy (or will) to spend on getting dolled up, here’s some good news: you can step out of your lazy garb and still look put together! Here are some fashion hacks to help you look fab, even on drab days.

1. Don a long dress

It’s time to visit your favorite women’s clothing boutique to score some cute and comfy full-length dresses. Maxi dresses may look regal and high-maintenance, but ironically, they’re the ideal piece to wear on lazy days. Long-dresses come in many comfortable styles. They’re super easy to throw on, yet they make you look and feel put-together in an instant.

2. Invest in oversized button downs

Nothing says sexy more than an oversized button-down shirt. Scour the racks of a men’s store for a light blue or white collared piece. You can wear it with shorts or as is. Pair it with white sneakers for a laidback appeal or with stilettos or kitten heels to dress it up a bit.

Are button-downs too sultry for your taste? Go for a sweater dress instead. Throw in a pair of printed or lace socks to complete your sweet uni girl ensemble.

3. Embrace athleisure

Woman posing for a photo

Gone are the days when sweatpants and hoodies were the epitome of drab. Much to the relief of lowkey fashionistas everywhere, Queen Bey’s Ivy Park entered the fashion scene in 2014 and never left. At the arrival of the sporty glam fashion, it became perfectly fine to face the world looking like you’re fresh off the gym. To rock athleisure, all you need is three pieces: sweatpants or track shorts, a pullover (hooded or otherwise), and sneakers (major fashion points if they’re the clunky type.)

When it comes to tracksuit fabrics, velvet and velour are back in fashion. Cotton is also a comfy and fashionable option. In terms of style, find sweatpants with interesting details, such as piping or studs.

4. Amp up on accessories

Accidentally slept longer in your ratty shirt and leggings on errand day? Ankle-length socks, boots, and scarves come in handy when hiding, or sprucing up otherwise tired clothes. Wear a pair of thin hoop earrings or a watch to go from bare to fashionably laidback. Baseball caps, beanies, or a headwrap can help with bad masking greasy roots.

We know lazy days are no excuse to step out the door looking like a slob. The trick to looking put-together is to invest insanely comfortable yet completely presentable pieces.

Woman with perfect eyelashes

Achieving the Perfect Eyelashes: 4 Things You Can Do

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, having thick and long lashes is simply hard to achieve. The worst case is you often end up dealing with clumpy and dry eyelashes. With this, you’re probably curious as to how you could possess the most natural yet perfect lashes one could ever wish for.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out which means there’s still hope for you. Now, you’re probably dying to know how you could do that so without further ado, here are some tricks and tips you may follow to achieve perfect and fluttery eyelashes.

1. Reminders for eyelash extension

If you’re one of those people who is not blessed with lashes, you could always try 3D volume eyelash extensions in Las Vegas. This is, in fact, a popular option to most women. This is not surprising considering how instant the result is.

In addition, it’s not that painful and could give you the effect you wanted. Just one quick reminder, however, you need to be careful about choosing where and who will do it. Do your own research and find out about the clinic’s success rate to see if they are someone you could entrust the operation to.

2. Don’t rub your eyes

Keep yourself from rubbing your eyes too much. Although some of you might find it a little too impossible to resist the itch, try to stop yourself from doing it. Instead, try washing your face and the area surrounding your eyes remove the itchy feeling.

If ever you’re nowhere near any place to wash off your face and eyes, you may wipe them off gently with wet wipes or cotton cloth. Rubbing your eyes harshly may cause irritate the follicles and may cause your lashes to bend or fall.

3. Choose mascara wisely

Woman's eyelashes with mascaraToday, there are virtually tons of mascara to choose from. Because of this, you may often find yourself a little too overwhelmed about your options. This is why you need to be careful when choosing which mascara to use.

For starters, water-proof mascara will give you a hard time removing them. Don’t sleep with your mascara on. This habit might get your lashes to be clumpy and dry. When taking off the mascara, use makeup remover and cotton pads to gently wipe off its traces.

4. Massage with Petroleum Jelly

To relax the nerves surrounding your eyes and encourage healthy eyelash growth, be sure you take 2–5 minutes to massage the area around your eyes. Use petroleum jelly upon doing so. Just be careful not to get the solution into your eyes as it may cause irritation.

This step is necessary especially if you wear fake lashes or have eyelash extensions. In addition, try to not use any other chemicals along with mascara over them as it might keep your lashes from growing naturally.

It’s not hard to achieve long, beautiful and full eyelashes. It’s just a matter of knowing what things to do to care for this area of your eyes. Be careful on treating the area so you can continuously enjoy having perfect-looking lashes. In addition, don’t forget to keep these things in mind.

woman applying moisurizer on her face

Skincare 101: How to Find The Right Moisturizer

With countless moisturizers out in the market, it’s quite daunting to choose one that will be perfect for your specific skin type and needs. There’s the drugstore variety, prescription-strength, and high-end formulations, plus all the other options in between. Additionally, since people’s skin types vary widely, it’s hard even to make a blanket recommendation.

To help you with this difficult decision, here’s a basic guide that might help you narrow down the ideal moisturizer for you:

Figure Out Your Skin Type

Every skin type will benefit from being moisturized, yes, even acne-prone, sensitive, and very oily skin types. The key to finding the most beneficial type is in the formulation. If you have dry skin, consider emollient-rich hydrating creams. If you have oily skin, go with an oil-free, lightweight, gel-type formula. If your skin is sensitive, stick with unscented and basic formulas. And if your skin is dehydrated, opt for moisturizers that contain humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, to effectively trap moisture in your skin. If you’re uncertain of your skin type, you probably have combination or normal skin. In this case, it’s best to start with multiuse moisturizers that can give you a bit of everything and go from there.

All-Natural or Scientifically Proven?

The most effective moisturizers are usually those that harness both the power of natural ingredients and scientifically proven skincare ingredients. Take the intensive night cream from Kedma Skincare Philippines for instance. It’s made up of retinol or vitamin A, one of the most widely studied and proven anti-aging ingredients, Dead Sea minerals, and various plant extracts and oils—a perfect blend of science and nature. The wrinkle-fighting powers of retinol combined with the natural minerals, plant extracts, and oils helps in keeping your skin soft, youthful, supple, firm and restoring your skin’s moisture balance.

Decide If You Need Anti-Aging Ingredients

woman applying moisturizer around her eyes

A moisturizer is a moisturizer to an extent, whether you are 22 years old or 65 years old. There are certain skincare ingredients famous for their anti-aging benefits, but they can likewise offer other benefits other than making your skin more youthful. For instance, retinol is hailed as the best wrinkle fighter but is also very useful for acne and acne scars. The thing to know about anti-aging is that it is never too early to start an anti-aging regimen, considering that you start with gentler formulations first and go from there.

Try It Out

You won’t know if your chosen moisturizer suits your skin type until you have used it religiously for at least a month. Provided that you didn’t experience an allergic reaction, stick it out to see its effects once your skin has had time to regenerate itself fully, which is around four to six weeks. It’s also vital to note that you might need to experiment with different moisturizers to find the perfect one for you. So if you’re having problems understanding the needs of your skin, hence, choosing a moisturizer that can address your specific issues, visit your dermatologist to help you out.

Wedding reception set up

Planning for Your Wedding Reception: What to Remember

Your wedding is one of the most important and most special events that will ever happen in your life. We’re pretty sure you know and realize that already, which is why you’re here reading some articles to make sure that your wedding ceremony and reception will go perfectly well.

Things can easily get confusing when choosing a wedding reception. It can also get a little bit messy if you and your partner have different tastes when it comes to choosing a wedding reception, which is why it is important to compromise and choose a venue that can cater to both of your needs and wants.

Here, we will discuss a few things that you should take into consideration when choosing a wedding & wedding reception venue in Salt Lake City.

Plan Ahead

You probably know this already, but it won’t hurt to remind you to plan your wedding ahead of time. This includes planning for the wedding reception and making sure that you already have things figured out months before the wedding.

Look around your area and see which restaurants or wedding event venues and receptions you’re interested in. Pay each one a visit and ask about their prices, menu, and decorations. You definitely would want to see some pictures of weddings that happened there before, so go ahead and ask them.

Avoid Planning Too Many Events During the Reception

You might get all excited for the reception and include many events that you think everyone would want to participate in. Sure, it is your day and you are allowed to do whatever you want, but you also have to follow the venue’s rules and make sure you would not overstay and follow the allocated time given to you.

It’s totally okay to include traditional wedding reception events, such as the first dance, parent dance, cake cutting, toast, garter and bouquet toss, and even the entrance, but make sure that these events will all fit in the allocated time.

Plan for the Lighting and Music

Wedding light and sound system

Lights and music are important when it comes to wedding receptions. This makes the whole event fun and interactive, which you definitely want since you have your closest friends and family there with you.

Give a few music selections to your DJ or band so they would know what music should be played during the reception. Talk it over with them months before the reception so they can prepare for it.

You also would want to ask about the venue’s lighting and make sure to tell them what you want during the event, including when to dim or turn the lights off during the event itself.

Follow Your Budget

One thing that could happen when planning for a wedding reception is going overboard when it comes to the budget. Make sure to stay within your range and avoid going over budget, as you have other things you need to pay for.

It might be tempting to go for that expensive bottle of wine for the toast or that amazing wedding cake that has 10 layers, but remember that you can spice things up even if you have a limited budget.

Work with your partner when choosing the wedding reception, as you both should be in charge and involved when it comes to making decisions for your wedding. Lastly, do not forget to enjoy and have fun!

It’s Time for Self-Care: 4 Activities to Pamper Yourself

Between deadlines and meetings, you could easily get caught up in an unhealthy daily routine. While having a routine could get you through on a lot of situations, it doesn’t allow that much adjustments on your schedule.

Because of this, you could easily forget that you also need some time to look after yourself. Self-care is the term that refers to your overall well-being which encompasses your mental, physical and emotional health as well as in teaching oneself to love and care for it.

If you don’t set aside a time to have time for yourself, sooner or later you’ll feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is why it’s important that you schedule a pampering session every once and in a while. Find out some self-care activities you can try below.

1. Have a salon day

Make yourself feel better about yourself by visiting a hair and beauty salon in Dumfries every now and then. Get as many services as you want.

You can have a massage, haircut, mani-pedi or whatever it is you prefer. While most people might think it doesn’t do much, but taking time to improve your appearance would help boost up your confidence and make you feel better.

2. Take some time off

It’s great that you show commitment and dedication to your work or studies, making it your life isn’t. Learn how to set boundaries between yourself at home and at work. Don’t deny yourself the rest and break you need.

Take a leave and treat yourself to a vacation. It can be a staycation in a hotel, visit a new place or simply enjoy a little me-time. This will give you time to relax and take off your mind from worries. It’s also a great way to keep yourself from feeling burnout and stressed.

3. Choose a hobby

As surprising as it might sound, finding a hobby that you totally enjoy can also become part of your self-care routine. Finding one allows you to get to know more about yourself.

For this once, you’ll be able to focus on yourself and set aside your work as well as responsibilities because it’s about you and nothing else. Now you might be wondering what hobby you should try; the thing is it could practically be anything.

4. Pause and meditate

woman meditatingHaving too much on your plate can make you feel anxious about a lot of things. Because of this, you’re constantly worried, and stress may slowly creep into your system.

Unfortunately, many people realize it too late, and it might have already brought so much damage to their health. To avoid the worst from coming, it’s important that you know how to pause and breathe.

During this time, take time to meditate in order to get rid of all negativities in your system. Allotting a good 5–10 minutes every day on meditation would make you feel better and can lessen the chance of depression and anxiety.

Before you start worrying about others, be sure you’re giving enough to yourself. It’s important that you take a few moments to be on your own to get to know yourself as well as keep your mental, physical, and emotional health in check. It’s not about being selfish but more on looking after your well-being.

Bed with white pillows and sheets

The Battle of the Best Bed Sheets: Which Should You Pick?

Your bed is somewhat responsible for giving you a good night sleep. Having a comfy mattress to lie down to could help improve your sleeping habits as well as ensure you’re getting enough rest all throughout the night.

Along with the bed itself, the fabrics you have for your covers and linens may somewhat affect the level of comfort you enjoy as you sleep. If you happen to be shopping a new set of sheets and would like to know what options you have for the material and fabrics, here are some of the most popular types of sheets to choose from.

Bamboo Sheets

If you’re looking for something in between cotton and silk to cover your king-size bed, there’s no better option than bamboo sheets. It goes perfectly well to all types of beds as well as offers the same feeling of luxury as it is with silk.

Unlike with silk, however, its texture is not too slippery and follows the level of breathability of cotton sheets. Although many are against this fabric due to its harmful production process, manufacturers have come up with a more nature-friendly solution. So rest assured you’re still making a good choice if you happen to pick this.

Cotton Sheets

Starting off the list is the cotton sheet. It’s the most common type of beddings which are known to be extremely breathable. It’s ideal to use during hotter days as it does a great job in keeping you cool especially when the sun is scorching. Among all types of sheets, this is proven to be the most popular because of its price and how easy it is to clean.

Silk Sheets

Smooth gray silk fabricIf cotton falls into the affordable side, silk is considered the most luxurious and expensive option. This is due to the fact that the production cost for this fabric is extremely high and hard to manufacture.

It comes from the cocoon the silkworms spin and to which producers carefully unravel and thread together to create a cloth out of it. The process of its production is complicated enough even more so the intricacy of how people have to handle it.

While it is indeed an expensive fabric, when it comes to softness and comfort you’ll never be disappointed. These are naturally hypoallergenic which are perfect for people who have sensitive skin. In terms of washing, they require more delicate handling as they are more delicate than cotton and other fabrics.

Polyester Sheets

Another type of linen material you may want to consider is the polyester. Like the rest of fabrics that have been introduced, the sheets made out of this provides a soft and comfy feeling as the fibers are woven finely.

While it’s slowly making its way to the list, many people may find it a little difficult to sleep on especially during the hot and dry season because the heat can get trap into it. So it is not advisable to use it if you have a particularly warm room.

However, it is extremely resistant to stains, so if you enjoy having your meals in bed or has a kid around who’s very messy, this is just the perfect choice.

When shopping for new sheets, you must always put your comfort on top of everything. By doing so, you’ll easily determine which bedding will be most suitable to your style as well as to your preferences.

The above mentioned are just some of the few types of bed sheets. If you feel like looking for more, feel free to search through your possible options.

a wedding venue

5 Tricks You Can Do to Make a Small Venue Look Bigger

It’s always fun to decorate event venues. There’s this certain level of satisfaction and pride whenever you’re able to transform an empty space into something bright and lively. It’s a plus when everyone appreciates all the efforts you’ve put into it. In this case, it is the guests you’re trying to impress.

As exciting as the experience might be, you can’t help but encounter several challenges along the way. This is especially true if you are to decorate a venue with limited area size. Although many would often feel like there isn’t enough space to work with, you’ll find tons of ways to get yourself around with it.

Check out some great decorating tricks you can use if you are working with a small event space in Kansas City.

1. Go easy on the decoration.

As much as you love to decorate, in this case, try to keep using them at a minimum. Unless it’s necessary to go extra with the decor, that’s the only time you’re allowed to use a significant amount of ornaments.

A few accent pieces and props would certainly be more than enough to project the look you’re aiming for, so try to work on those items.

2. Come up with the perfect seat plan.

Make the space appear larger by finding the perfect layout for seats. Don’t let any of the chairs overlap with each other. Instead, choose a direction of movement to which it can follow.

For your tables, have the long ones rather than the round ones cause it may limit the amount of available space as well as cut off the flow.

3. Avoid oversized furniture.

If you want to maximize the amount of space your venue has, then it’s not smart to use chunky or bulky furniture. In addition, try to focus only on items that are necessary.

Don’t try to push for more accent pieces. Plan out the layout of the design and only use what’s necessary. If your design really requires the use of a few pieces, then try making an illusion of it instead.

a table setup

4. Use the lights wisely.

When it comes to creating an illusion of space, the use of natural lights is by far the most effective way to achieve that goal. With small spaces, the use of a sufficient amount of lights can make the area larger and brighter. Try to stay away from dim lighting as it could make the place look narrower.

When setting up the lights, it’s ideal to have them installed on both sides and top area so that the lights are distributed evenly. If there are windows with natural lights passing through, you may also use them to decorate.

5. Tap the magic of glass and mirrors.

Along with lights, using glass and mirrors throughout your whole setup would also create an illusion of space. Mirrors bounce off the light around the room which can make the space appear to be much more than its actual size.

With glass, it offers no restrictions which trick the eye into thinking that you have larger space. If you can properly incorporate these elements, you’ll definitely have no troubles in maximizing any room.

Working with a small event space can be both an exciting and terrifying experience. However, knowing a few decorating tricks would definitely save you from the stress of making things work.