Sunday, February 8, 2015

Prolong the Life of your Pearls: How to Properly Care for Pearl Jewelry

You all know I’m crazy about jewelry and I’m always fixated on something in particular, right? Well, my latest obsession are pearl jewelry of any kind. Lately I’ve been into everything classic and pearls are just so timeless and elegant (simple pieces like these here too -

That’s why I’ve been digging everywhere for them and I was lucky enough to find quite a few vintage piece that are really beautiful. But only a few weeks ago I really hit the motherload and I got my hands on 4 stunning pearl jewelry items that are the real deal: two necklaces, a brooch and a bracelet. Don't need to tell you how excited I am about that.

They were just delivered and they don't disappoint, but I really have to clean them up since they are a bit dusty - to say the least. I know that caring for your pearl jewelry is very important in order to preserve them for years and I plan to transform these into some kind of family heirlooms. 

I don’t want to be one of those people that ignore taking care of their jewelry and end up destroying them forever. That’s why I started doing some serious research on the subject and I’m going to show you the result once I’m done with them. 

I read that overlooking the cleaning of you pear jewelry will not only affect the way they look, but also diminish their lifespan and we don’t want that, do we?

After shifting through a lot of information, I think I found the most relevant caring and cleaning tips that will keep your pearls looking amazing for generations to come:

  • Pearls should be kept in a safe place away from extreme cold or warmth. You can wear them with other jewelry, but don’t store them in a shared box because they scratch easily. Put them away in a separate box with a soft, pillowy interior or just wrap them in linen.
  • Make sure the pearl necklaces are untangled and laid flat in their casing to avoid the pearls rubbing against each other
  • Don’t wrap your pearls in a plastic bag – they need contact with moisture to maintain their luster and thickness
  • Only use cleaners and solutions that are specially meant for pearl jewelry. Most cleaners are way too rough and coarse for pearls and, instead of helping, will only damage them
  • The thought of using clothes or dish detergents, bleach of any kind, cleaners containing ammonia, powder cleaners or even baking soda, shouldn’t even cross your mind
  • You can use warm water and soap to clean them, but stay away from the toothbrush or any abrasive pads. Instead, wipe them out with a clean and soft fabric that can be either slightly damp or dry. If you used water, make sure the pearls are dry before you deposit them safely. A final wipe with a delicate cotton towel will do the job.
  • Using just a bit of olive oil on the fabric you clean them with, will help your pearls keep their shine
  • Be careful not to wet the pearls' string. If you do, make sure it’s dry before wearing them, otherwise it’s going to stretch and gather dirt that’s not going to be easy to get rid of without replacing it all together
  • Believe it or not, acetone can be used to remove stains from pearls so you can do that with your acetone nail polish remover
  • Pearl earrings should be laid flat after cleaning on a soft cloth and not hanged to dry
  • Pearl jewelry should not, under any circumstances, be steam cleaned.
  • If you’re thinking about using an an ultrasonic cleaner on the pearls, don’t!
  • Don’t wear the pearls while applying perfume, lotion or moisturizing cream. They shouldn’t come in contact with substances that can damage their luster and color.
  • Avoid wearing your pearl jewelry over clothes made out of harsh fabrics: rough wool, other accessories made of metal or wood layered in a way that can scratch the pearls
  • Don’t bathe, shower or swim with your pearls on
  • Have your pearl necklaces restrung by someone who knows what he’s doing once in a while (especially if you wear them all the time). 
Once your jewelry it’s clean, you can work on maintaining it that way. Wiping the pearls with a chamois or soft cloth every time you take them off after wearing them it’s a great idea. This way you will avoid dirt and debris building up and also remove any perspiration that might have gotten in contact with them from your skin. Perspiration is more or less acidic and can affect the nacre coating (natural luster) of your pearls.

If you think you won’t be able to clean them properly because they’re in such a bad shape, you can always take them to a professional jeweler to do it for you. If you do have a special solution created to clean pearls you will manage for sure. Don’t forget to dry them off after cleaning by laying them flat on a slightly damp towel – once that is dry, your pearls should be dry too.

I hope this article was helpful because that pretty much all the useful advice I could gather from around the web.

Photos and gifs:1, 2

How do you feel about pearl and jewelry in general?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

For the love of music

Nothing much surprises me anymore, but I still get startled by people saying things like: “I don’t really listen to music” or “I don’t like music all that much.” It’s like saying air is not all that high on your list of priorities. To each his own, but if you’re one of those people, we’re probably not going to be best friends.

That being said, I appreciate companies that choose to support music and musicians. There are so many immensely talented people in the world that never get to be listened to because they are not given a chance and don’t have the financial support to make it in this business. And the music business it’s a really harsh world to be part of. People get rejected a lot, they get judged not only based on talent, but mainly on appeal, age and the way they look. These things happen to all of us, but not as much as they do to struggling musicians. The more different you are, the more the world harps on you.

And then there’s my passion for infographics – I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to them. We all know that’s the ultimate confirmation I’m into something! Infographics make things so much easier if they’re great. Just like with people, I like them smart and I’m biased towards those that don’t bore me to sleep.

I actually found a perfect example of a great infographic that just happens to combine my love for music and graphics. The subject is not something that could be labeled as being of mass interested - a company shows the touchable results of a great ongoing project through which they’re supporting indie music and artists. It has lots of information that would otherwise be super boring because it’s so particular, but it’s not.

The way all these numbers and graphs are presented is witty and entertaining. All the humor and puzzling comparisons make you read it from top to bottom. The fact that the design itself is simple, focused and easy to follow help as lot to. People making infographics for a living should take notes.

And I didn't even know the animal whit the the shortest life span on earth is the mayfly. Living just for procreation purposes is indeed very rock and roll. Also sad, but mostly rock and roll!

Scion AV Infographic
Presented By Scion

Do you find infographics useful? Do you collect them? Which types of infographics do you find helpful? 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

How to match your swimsuit with your body type and personality

Only the thought that’s always summer somewhere keeps me going right now. It’s been a slow progression, but, over the years, I’ve been hating winter more and more - to the point I would love to live somewhere warm all year long. Yes, I’m totally California dreaming right now.

I’m one of those people that wants to spend Christmas at the beach and go somewhere exotic for the holidays. I can hardly wait for summer and planning on going somewhere really cool. Not sure where, but the ocean is a must. 

So while everybody is writing about coats and boots, I’m already thinking about 2015 swimsuits. I have always have been a forward thinker! :)

I don’t know about you, but the process of trying on and finding the right swimsuits it’s really a terrifying thing. Many women dread it more than the zombie apocalypse or childbirth. It usually goes hand in hand with a Brazilian wax. Enough said!

The fact that there’s a lot to choose from out there is not helping either: hundreds of prints, cuts, shapes, no name and designer swimsuits, online shops or traditional stores, one pieces swimsuits, full body swimsuits and on and on. Very confusing stuff.
For me the key is to find something that suits both your personality and body shape. But if you have multiple personalities, like me, it’s going to be hard to stick to one style.

But let’s start with the right swimsuits for each silhouette.

1. Athletic build (Triangle shape)

Ok, so you’ve been working out and you look like a male Korean drama lead meets runway model. Please don’t take this as an insult – I’m very much into those (they are prettier than most girls) - nice shoulders and arms, narrower hips, nicely defined legs. 

You should totally show off by wearing revealing swimsuits with lots of feminine details, maybe some cool hip or straps embellishments. Go for low cut bottom pieces and tops with cups, ruffles, maybe some padding to soften your look and give the illusion of a larger chest. 

Don’t be afraid of wearing prints – they are your friend. Don’t punish the world by wearing one pieces – those abs deserve to be seen.

2. Curvy or hourglass body shape (defined waist with a generous bust and hips)

Firstly, congratulations for winning at the genetic lottery. You will look good in almost anything, but keep in mind that you need something to hold everything in place. A little support is always welcomed and balconette or halter style tops with underwire are the best for that. 

Look for pieces that have thicker straps and double-stitched bands as well – they’re going to be both comfortable and flattering. Cool one pieces will also look hot on you.

Specialists usually recommend going for solid or very small prints to avoid messing with your proportions, but I think you should go for what you like and feel that looks good on you. I would avoid anything with strings, unless you want a wardrobe malfunction – the beach edition - happening to you.   

3. Pear shaped body

You’re lower half might be winder than your top half, but you can still rock a swimsuit like it’s nobody’s business. Choosing the right bottom is the most important thing here: go for full coverage or high waisted boy shorts or hipsters, even briefs. 

The top should be something attention grabbing to balance things out – low cut, interesting details and molded cups are the answer. I would definitely go for one of those two pieces with a solid colored bottom and a printed top.

Think along these lines: go wild on top and remain modest in the bottom area. It sounds a lot dirtier than intended, but you get my point. One piece swimsuits with interesting upper cuts and details are also a great idea.

4. Straight build

You’re the envy of every teenage girl in the world, not many curves to talk about, but nothing to hide either. Your photos are probably all over Tumbler by now. You can go as skimpy as you like without looking vulgar. 

Just know that any kind of gathering details, prints, padding and ruffles will enhance your existing curves. String bikinis have been made for you, so don’t be afraid to get some of those.

 Photos and gifs: sunbain, 1, 2

How do you like your swimming suits?

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